A facility manager's dream come true

Ford Motor Co. has tapped into the fantasies of facility managers and will introduce a Ford F-250 Super Duty truck next Tuesday at the Specialty Equipment Market Association show in Las Vegas. What’s so fantastic about this truck? Well, put it this way–it comes with a wireless mobile office option priced at about $3,000.

The mobile office option will include a wireless-equipped computer, printer, and GPS system. Accessories like digital cameras and credit card scanners will also be available for an additional cost. The option is specifically aimed at building professionals (contractors, managers, etc.) who perform a great deal of their work on various sites.

This report from the Associated Press (courtesy of the Detroit Free Press) explains:

The system uses a flat Stargate Mobile computer, powered by the truck’s battery and mounted on a stand between the driver’s seat and passenger seat. The computer has a touch-screen option — eliminating the need for a keyboard or mouse — and is designed to be removed from the stand and taken to a work site. It stays connected to the Internet via a broadband wireless cellular card and even has a screen that is visible in direct sunlight.

Patty Dilger, director of North American automotive and industrial equipment for Microsoft Corp., explains that this is the first time the Windows XP Professional operating system has been available as a dealer-installed option in a vehicle. The computer in the Ford pickups will be equipped with a full suite of office software, including Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint, and can also play music or be used for navigation.