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03.03.14

If Ford Wants Open Source Community, It Should Embrace Neither Microsoft Nor Blackberry

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 7:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Ford should avoid Blackberry’s QNX OS and instead go for a Linux-based OS

LAST WEEK we wrote about rumours that Ford was leaving Microsoft (the company’s key automobile partner for years). There are now some reports about it [1], which makes it look like more than a rumour. Ford was Microsoft’s biggest and perhaps only supporter when it comes to automobiles, so it must be a huge loss for Microsoft and perhaps the end of Microsoft’s escapades inside people’s cars (Microsoft has many problems others than that, even at the core business). What’s baffling, however, is the choice of Blackberry’s QNX OS; it’s proprietary, unlike Android, Linux, and all those massively-popular options for car operating systems (which can be tailored to the needs of pertinent companies large or small).

There are reports at the moment about Ford trying to appeal to the “Open-Source Community” (not necessarily software). One article said that “OpenXC, essentially an API to a car, is a combination of open-source hardware and software that lets enthusiasts extend their vehicles with custom applications and pluggable modules. It uses standard, well known tools to open up a wealth of data from the vehicle to developers.”

The problem is, unless Ford uses an Open/Free system that developers can tinker with (not just at API level), it will never attract much interest. Ford would be wise to move towards a Linux-oriented system (and not BSD-based but closed). Since we are only in the rumours stage, there is still room for change in judgment. Ford executives should explore a relationship with the Linux Foundation.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Why Ford is dumping Microsoft for Blackberry’s QNX OS

    Ford is reportedly set to replace the Windows-based Sync platform in its cars with an open-source based system used by several other automakers.

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