Microsoft announces partnership with BMW to put Skype in your vehicle

Yolanda Curtis
July 14, 2017

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. Now, the German automaker wants to offer Skype for Business to make business meetings available in the auto.

Dieter May, BMW senior vice president, Digital Products and Services, says, "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 auto".

As part of a partnership with Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) to make cars more than just a ride, Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (FRA:BMW) announced that it is integrating Skype for Business in the BMW 5 series cars. Upcoming Skype meetings are automatically identified and flagged up on the Control Display.

Connected is built on top of Open Mobility, a cloud platform that Microsoft built with BMW a year ago. "We seek to continuously extend and enhance the customer experience with regard to all aspects of their mobility".

New BMW 5 Series cars will let drivers take Skype meetings while on the road, with the system accessed via the built-in entertainment system.

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

Skype for Business is coming first to newer BMW 5 series vehicles in the Germany, France and the United Kingdom, with other regions to follow.

Microsoft (msft) has been pushing its Skype for Business to corporate customers amid increasing competition from companies like Amazon (amzn) and Google (goog). "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. All this gadgetry will also be synchronized with the vehicle's voice recognition service.

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