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BMW Works With Microsoft To Release World's Most Expensive Skype Accessory

14 July 2017

This is, of course, not the first Microsoft feature to be found in Beemers, with BMW having been one of the first auto makers to offer Office 365 services in its cars.

BMW isn't the first company to unveil Skype-ing on the road, as that honor goes to Volvo. "With BMW Connected we offer a wide range of digital services created to help users with their daily mobility needs inside and outside of the vehicle", said Dieter May, senior vice president of BMW Digital Products and Services. BMW said that Skype will be available in cars fitted with its iDrive system from later this year.

BMW already uses Microsoft's Azure cloud technologies to power its BMW Connected companion through a jointly developed platform called Open Mobility. Following the launch of the new BMW 5 series in December 2016, BMW became one of the first auto manufacturers to commercially offer Office 365 communications and collaboration services through Microsoft Exchange to drivers who already rely on Office 365 at work and want to extend the services to their vehicle. "We seek to continuously extend and enhance the customer experience with regard to all aspects of their mobility". Additionally, the integration will enable drivers to access their contacts, to-do lists and calendars. Upcoming Skype meetings are automatically identified and flagged up on the Control Display.

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BMW is going all in on Microsoft business tools, with support for Office, Exchange and now Skype for Business.

The service will premiere in Germany, France, and the United Kingdom, followed by other unspecified countries.

Image: Microsoft to bring Skype for Business to BMW's 5 Series vehicles.

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Skype will remind drivers about scheduled group conferences and schedule changes.

Roadside Skype meetings aside, Volvo and Microsoft are also exploring how to incorporate Cortana, Microsoft's virtual assistant, for voice-enabled intelligent services.

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BMW Works With Microsoft To Release World's Most Expensive Skype Accessory