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The Secrets of Microsoft's Sync

This voice-control system for car stereos and cell phones, available only in Ford cars, is sure to be imitated

Microsoft (MSFT) has spun its wheels for years attempting to craft an in-car computer, but the company may be primed for pole position with its latest effort to weave software into auto design.

The system is called Sync, and it lets motorists control car stereos and mobile phones with voice commands. Sync was featured in a keynote speech by Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas (BusinessWeek.com, 1/7/08), and it's available exclusively from Ford Motor (F).