When the rental car web site says Ford Taurus or equivalent I just groan. Anyone who has done any traveling at all knows the feeling. Just as fun as finding out your hotel room is next to the elevator winch room, or that your toothpaste blew up in your bag.
Ford has been making a big push into the tech business. Advertising on all of the geek sites and pulling out all of the stops at CES. The revival of the Mustang has been well executed too. I have rented a few Mustang convertibles while on vacation and really loved them.
Getting your product in front of potential new customers in a real life trial is risky because it produces both potential new customers but if the product is not well matched to the customer, it can easily eliminate potential customers.
In the last two weeks I have been dealt the Taurus card twice and I have to say they have been great. What a surprise! Stylish, well put together, and fun to drive. The rental introduction certainly worked for me with Ford.
Not so lucky with Microsoft and Sync. I was eager to try out Sync and it is a disaster. I got it to connect to my phone by bluetooth, but it would sometimes work and other times not work. The user interface is not intuitive and any of the voice activation stuff will require half a day spent with the manual.
This is just one more situation where Microsoft shows up on the consumer radar as a company that just cannot make products that work -- let alone that are fashionable. Lucky for Ford, I have not found other auto computer systems to be all that easy to use either. So maybe Microsoft Sync will not prevent people from buying Fords. But Microsoft Sync will turn people off to other Microsoft products.