Microsoft, Ford bringing "Sync" to cars this year

As expected, it's been announced today that the Blue&Me system originally debuted with Fiat in Europe is finally coming to the States by way of Ford, but not without a name change: "Sync." The setup offers integration with Bluetooth-enabled phones (read: virtually all phones these days) and music players via both A2DP / AVRCP and USB 2.0 connections -- and yes, the iPod's right there at the top of the compatibility list, despite Microsoft's involvement. Other nifty (and potentially driver-distracting) features include the ability to have text messages read aloud, voice recognition for control of both phone and music functions, and phonebook transfer. Best of all, the system's upgradeable -- primarily for compatibility with future players, but it also leaves the door open for additional functionality down the road. Look for the Sync to get synced on twelve model year 2008 Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury vehicles with availability starting later this year.