BMW, Microsoft drive Skype into new 5 Series

Isaac Cain
July 14, 2017

This all comes after Microsoft and BMW previously partnered with the technology giant in 2016 to create the Open Mobility platform and help drivers who rely on Office 365 at work to extend the services to their BMW auto. The iDrive system is BMW's computer system with a dashboard monitor that lets people control auto features like mapping services and the radio. 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.

Microsoft and BMW announced today that they are bringing Skype for Business to the BMW 5-series, in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom first. BMW will also enable tighter integration with calendars, contacts, and to-do lists all from Microsoft's Exchange service. "We seek to continuously extend and enhance the customer experience with regard to all aspects of their mobility".

The feature will be integrated and operated through the stock infotainment system.

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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. The feature allows users to join meetings via voice or screen taps, receive alerts about an upcoming Skype call, and be notified if it's cancelled.

At BMW's annual "Innovation Days" event in Chicago today, the company announced that it's now going to include Skype for Business in iDrive.

Just before the New Year, Volvo announced that it was adding Skype for Business compatibility to the infotainment systems of its 90 series cars. Now, the German automaker wants to offer Skype for Business to make business meetings available in the vehicle. "With the dawn of autonomous cars we see a future where flexible in-car productivity tools will enable people to reduce time spent in the office".

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