The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Ford reportedly looking at Blackberry-owned software for in-car systems

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Ford Motor Co. has reportedly picked a technology owned by ailing Canadian smartphone maker Blackberry Ltd. (TSX:BB) for its next-generation Sync system.

Bloomberg reported Monday that the automaker plans to swap its current Microsoft software for Blackberry's QNX, which was acquired by the Waterloo, Ont.,-based firm in 2010.

People briefed on the matter told the news service that QNX will be less expensive than licensing technology from Microsoft and improve the system's speed and flexibility.

Bloomberg says more than seven million Ford vehicles on the road use Microsoft's voice-activated software to make phone calls and play music, but there have been customer complaints about the technology.

Ford refused to respond directly to reports it will switch to QNX.

"Ford works with a variety of partners and suppliers to develop and continuously improve our in-car connectivity systems for customers," company spokeswoman Susannah Wesley said in an email to The Canadian Press.

"We do not discuss details of our work with others or speculate on future products for competitive reasons."

On the Toronto Stock Exchange, shares in Blackberry closed up 70 cents, or 6.88 per cent, at $10.87 on Monday after having gone as high as $11.18 earlier in the day.

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