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

Skype for Business Comes to BMW 5 Series Cars

With the services in place in BMW's vehicles, drivers can be alerted about upcoming meetings, can offer to start a meeting without the need for the driver to physically dialling the phone, which should be avoided while driving.

German car-maker BMW has entered a partnership with Microsoft, and as a result you can expect a lot of the latter's connectivity features to be integrated into BMW's cars.

Dieter May, BMW senior vice president, Digital Products and Services, says, "The integration of productivity features in-car (like Exchange and Skype for Business) and personalized and contextual services will help customers with their day-to-day work and planning while they are on the road".

The Skype for Business Functionality will be integrated into BMW's iDrive system, with availability coming first in Germany, France, and the United Kingdom, and other markers soon. "We seek to continuously extend and enhance the customer experience with regard to all aspects of their mobility".

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Microsoft and BMW partnered on a new initiative called Open Mobility in 2016; this is the platform on which BMW Connected runs. BMW was one of the first auto makers to enable Office 365 services in its cars, and this latest feature will let owners take Skype meetings in their cars through the built-in entertainment system.

BMW is going all in on Microsoft business tools, with support for Office, Exchange and now Skype for Business. The tech giant said that Microsoft Exchange will also integrate calendars, to-do lists and contacts using the car's voice and navigation systems. That service will roll out in Germany, France and the United Kingdom, and BMW will ponder expansion to other markets like North America afterwards.

While BMW is an early supporter of bringing a little piece of Microsoft's business communications ecosystem into passenger cars, it's not the first.

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

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