CNET readers were so impressed with Sync, the in-car media application developed by Microsoft for Ford, that they voted it the winner of the People's Voice award for Best of CES 2007. Today Ford released details on how much the people are going to have to fork over to choose Sync on select 2008 Ford, Mercury, and Lincoln models: a pretty reasonable $395.
Those who do option up will get one of the most sophisticated media and communications systems available. As we found in our hands-on test, the Sync application, which runs on a Microsoft Auto platform, enables drivers to use voice commands to call up songs and artists from connected iPods, Zunes, and generic USB storage devices, as well as to make hands-free calls using a connected Bluetooth phone.
To put the Sync price in perspective, the Honda/Acura Music Link connector costs around $200 (exclusive of installation) for an iPod-only connection that still relies on old-fashioned manual programming, while factory-installed Bluetooth interfaces run between $200 and $300 (and more than $400 for Mercedes-Benz drivers), and only then when Bluetooth is offered a la carte, and not part of a more expensive package.