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At Ford, Windows is Job One

I am taking an unexpected and brief break from my vacation because when I saw this headline I knew it would have implications for the radio industry which are vast.

None of this is surprising, of course. I – and others – have been saying that the Internet is coming to a car near you for some time now.

But here – for the first time – is proof positive:

In what might be the start of an exciting technological future for cars and trucks, Ford Motor Co. and software giant Microsoft Corp. are expected to jointly announce soon that new Windows Automotive software soon will be available in Ford vehicles. The new technology — dubbed “Sync” — will finally bring together two industries that have long been expected to cross paths, allowing consumers to use their vehicles as computers in key ways, such as hands-free cell phone calls or downloading music or receiving e-mail.

If you can use your car to download music, you can also use it to stream music. And if you can stream music then you can do so from any number of music providers, not just your radio station.

And also this:

Microsoft is looking to move into the vehicle market to take advantage of the growing trend toward smart cars, said Jeff Varick, president of Ann Arbor-based Brand Motion, an aftermarket telematics firm. “People spend an hour or more in their car everyday,” he said. “They want to be productive and entertained.”

That entertainment time comes, in part, from the primary in-car entertainer, and that, my friends, is YOU.

What is YOUR group doing to be in front of this trend? What is YOUR group doing to be in every car in every way in 2007 and beyond? What content do you have that every Ford will want to stream?

And where does this leave satellite radio and especially HD radio?

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