US:Ford option turns trucks into offices
Ford option turns trucks into offices
Portable computer for F-series has Microsoft software, wireless Internet connectivity.
Bryce G. Hoffman / The Detroit News
DEARBORN -- Ford Motor Co. will today begin offering a new option that lets F-series pickup customers turn their trucks into mobile offices.
Dubbed FordLink, the dealer-installed accessory is a tablet computer system with wireless Internet connectivity jointly developed by Ford, Microsoft Corp. and Azentek LLC, a mobile solutions company based in Grand Blanc. The portable computer mates with a dash-mounted docking station that connects it to the vehicle's power supply and allows it to integrate with the truck's built-in GPS navigation and audio systems.
The computer uses Microsoft Windows XP and is capable of running any software supported by that operating system. It also includes ports that allow users to connect a printer, credit card reader, digital camera or other peripherals.
FordLink is designed with contractors in mind. The touch-screen computer boasts a special screen designed to be clearly viewable in bright sunlight and is built to stand up to job-site use.
Ford says the system will allow contractors to place online orders, calculate and print bids and modify blueprints from the cab of their pickups.
But Steve Weiner, Ford's FordLink marketing manager, said the same system could also be used by real estate agents, service providers like plumbers and electricians, and other road warriors.
"It's for anybody who works out of their truck," said. "There's a huge market out there for it, and we're the first ones to market."
The system, which includes Microsoft Windows XP and Office, will sell for around $3,000.
FordLink will be available on all 2007 F-Series trucks, as well as the new 2008 Super Duty that goes on sale early next year. That truck will be unveiled Sept. 28 at the Texas State Fair in Dallas.
My first car was a 67 Mustang Coupe, 2nd one was a 67 Cougar XR-7, 3rd one was a 66 Mustang Coupe. Why did I get rid of these cars for ? I know why, because I'm stupid, stupid, stupid.
My next Ford.....