BMW drivers can't escape work thanks to in-car Skype access

Image Microsoft

"The integration of productivity features in-car (like Exchange and Skype for Business) and personalised and contextual services will help customers with their day-to-day work and planning while they are on the road". BMW's latest 5 Series cars, which launched in December, were among the first to integrate Office 365 services through Microsoft Exchange, for "drivers who already rely on Office 365 at work and want to extend the services to their auto".

Last year, the two companies came together for the development of a new platform, Open Mobility, which will power BMW Connected, supported by Microsoft Azure cloud. From autumn 2017, BMW drivers will also enjoy the benefits of Microsoft's unified communication solution Skype for Business. "Microsoft Exchange will also integrate calendars, to-do lists and contacts using the car's voice and navigation systems", Microsoft said in a press release. The services will be offered in Germany, France and the United Kingdom, with other markets coming soon. "We seek to continuously extend and enhance the customer experience with regard to all aspects of their mobility".

BMW was at the forefront of the digital technology revolution in the automotive industry way back in 2001 when it debuted the BMW 7 Series with the first version of the iDrive system. That distinction belongs to Volvo.

Imagine if you're in a crash and you tell the cops "I wasn't on my phone - it was a Skype call with the office handled through the car". "Skype for Business represents another big step forward for our in-car connectivity and communication offer", said Anders Tylman-Mikiewicz, vice president of Consumer Connectivity Services at Volvo Car Group, in a December 29, 2016 announcement. The software giant is betting on productivity tools for cars. "This is just the beginning of a completely new way of looking at how we spend time in the auto".

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