Contrary to reports circulating the Web, Ford (NYSE:
) has not said "no" to Apple's (NASDAQ:
) upcoming Eyes Free feature, which will help integrate Siri into
new automobiles. In an e-mail to Benzinga, Ford Community Manager
Alan Hall said that the automaker's relationship with Microsoft
"We had initial exclusivity to the Windows Embedded Automotive
operating system when we first launched SYNC back in 2007, but
that ended in 2008," Hall wrote. "Microsoft works with other
automakers, such as Fiat and Kia, providing them [with] the same
operating system for their own connectivity systems. Note that
SYNC is a trademark of Ford Motor Company, although the system
was co-developed with Microsoft."
"Second, Nuance provides the voice recognition capability in
SYNC, not Microsoft," Hall continued. "Third, we've not said 'no'
to the Apple Eyes [Free] feature. We've just not announced our
that Nuance (NASDAQ:
) is the technology behind Siri, Apple and Nuance have not
confirmed this speculation, nor have they denied the
supporting this claim.
At press time, Nuance had not responded to a request for
"SYNC's key to success is that it is a platform with universal
compatibility," Hall concluded. "Right from the start, back in
2007, it was crucial to launch with compatibility for Apple iPod
since it was the market leader. We continue to work with Apple
very closely to ensure compatibility of their latest devices and
software updates. We do the same with Android and
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