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Living With (and Without) Microsoft Sync

You’ve probably seen the commercials for the Microsoft Sync audio system that can be found in a number of 2008 Ford vehicles. The advertisements made quite a splash when they first appeared, teasing viewers into envisioning exactly how the Microsoft Sync system works. For all those folks who were tickled by the Sync commercials, but were hesitant to venture into a Ford dealer, I’ve got you covered.

Over the last month, I’ve spent a week with three different Fords, each equipped with the Sync system:

It’s almost embarrassing to say how much I dig Sync … embarrassing, because I’ve never been a Microsoft fan boy.

Who would have ever thought that Microsoft would build a system that capitalized on the huge popularity of an Apple product (the iPod) to help an iconic American auto manufacturer (Ford) to turn around what looked for all to be an Excursion-sized barge headed for the falls.

Ford Focus sales are up 88 percent from year to year for the month of April. While a huge part of this is due to the crazy jump in gasoline prices, I’d venture to say that the Microsoft Sync audio system is the clincher in a great many sales.

Simply put, Microsoft Sync provides complete control over iPods (or other advanced media players) through a factory-installed audio system.

While other factory audio systems have begun to incorporate USB iPod controls – rather than mere auxiliary input ports – Microsoft Sync goes whole hog.

With the basic Sync system you have complete access to all the audio files on your media player through voice controls. You can select music based on track, artist, album, genre, or play list … without moving your hands from the steering wheel.

When the vehicle is equipped with a factory navigation system, like our Ford Edge review vehicle, you also have full access to the audio files through the dash-mounted touch screen LCD.

Sync does some crazy stuff with Bluetooth-equipped mobile phones, as well … like reading your messages and handling voice dialing, hands-free, of course …

After living with Microsoft Sync for the past few weeks, we became addicted.

Nothing else is quite the same …

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