Microsoft Bringing Skype to BMW Cars – Investopedia

Microsoft Corp.’s (MSFT) push into the automotive market just got a boost after the software giant announced it is bringing Skype to BMW vehicles.

Expanding an existing partnership inked in 2016, the Redmond, Wash., tech company said Skype, its internet conferencing platform, will be integrated into BMW cars. With this deal, drivers will be able to conduct Skype meetings in their rides via the built-in entertainment system. (See also: Microsoft Joins Baidu’s Driverless Car Project.)

“In today’s always-on culture, people need to be productive from anywhere—including their cars. Commute times are reaching record highs and people work from a variety of locations. This means that people need a way to capitalize on time spent in their car,” wrote lrich Homann, who holds the title Distinguished Architect, Cloud + Enterprise at Microsoft, in a blog post announcing the deal. “At Microsoft, we believe that cars should be more than just a ride, and also be a personal office on wheels.” The Skype feature will roll out in France, Germany and the U.K. and will be expanded to other countries down the road.

Connecting With Connected Cars

Last year, Microsoft and BMW announced a partnership to develop an in-vehicle platform called Open Mobility. In December, BMW became one of the first car manufactures to offer Office 365 in-car. Skype will be integrated and operated through the BMW iDrive System. With the system, drivers will be alerted to upcoming meetings, notified if the time or date changed or offer to start the meeting without having to dial a phone. Microsoft Exchange calendars, to-do lists and contacts will be integrated into the car’s voice and navigation systems. “There are more than 100 million commercial monthly active users of Office 365 and many of those business people use Skype for Business to facilitate meetings and calls at work,” noted Homann in the blog. (See also: Microsoft, Toyota Ink Deal Over Connected Cars.)

For some time now, Microsoft and other technology companies including Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM) and Intel Corp. (INTC) has been pushing further into the connected car market. According to research firm Research & Markets, the connected car market had shipment of 5.1 million units in 2015, with that expected to grow to 37.7 million units by 2022, representing a CAGR​ of 35.54% between 2016 and 2022.

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