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Ford Did Not Say "No" to Siri


Contrary to reports circulating the Web, Ford (NYSE: F) has not said "no" to Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) upcoming Eyes Free feature, which will help integrate Siri into new automobiles.

In an e-mail to Benzinga, Ford Community Manager Alan Hall said that the automaker's relationship with Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) is not exclusive.

"We had initial exclusivity to the Windows Embedded Automotive operating system when we first launched SYNC back in 2007, but that ended in 2008," Hall wrote. "Microsoft works with other automakers, such as Fiat and Kia, providing them [with] the same operating system for their own connectivity systems. Note that SYNC is a trademark of Ford Motor Company, although the system was co-developed with Microsoft."

"Second, Nuance provides the voice recognition capability in SYNC, not Microsoft," Hall continued. "Third, we've not said 'no' to the Apple Eyes [Free] feature. We've just not announced our plans yet."

While many believe that Nuance (NASDAQ: NUAN) is the technology behind Siri, Apple and Nuance have not confirmed this speculation, nor have they denied the so-called evidence supporting this claim.

At press time, Nuance had not responded to a request for comment.

"SYNC's key to success is that it is a platform with universal compatibility," Hall concluded. "Right from the start, back in 2007, it was crucial to launch with compatibility for Apple iPod since it was the market leader. We continue to work with Apple very closely to ensure compatibility of their latest devices and software updates. We do the same with Android and Blackberry."

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