Microsoft and Harman to bring productivity features to cars

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At CES 2016 today, Microsoft announced its new partnership with automotive companies, including Harman and Volvo. The company is teaming up with Harman to bring its services to cars’ dashboard. According to Harman, the company’s partnership with Microsft will introduce new mobile productivity services, and utilize existing products, and services including cloud platforms. / As part of the partnership, Microsoft will be integrating “key elements” of Office 365 into Harman’s infotainment systems, which is fascinating. Harman stated:

This collaboration is a first for Microsoft in the connected car space and represents a new emphasis on productivity within the car. With access to relevant Office 365 services through intelligent personal assistant software, drivers can complete tasks without compromising safety, including scheduling meetings, hearing and responding to emails, automatically joining conference calls without having to manually input the phone number and passcode, and seamlessly managing events and tasks throughout the day. Drivers will also be able to hold Skype calls and conferences when in park, or on the road with autonomous vehicles. In addition, with HARMAN’s over-the-air (OTA) incremental update capabilities, the most current version of Office 365 will always be accessible to drivers.

With Office 365 integrated into their infotainment systems, drivers will be able to use various Office 365 services in their car. Drivers will be able to interact with the Office 365 services via an intelligent personal assistant (possibly Cortana) to schedule meetings, hear and respond to emails, and make Skype calls (when the car is parked).

Microsoft’s partnership with Harman is, indeed, pretty interesting. Unlike Apple and Google, Microsoft is integrating its major services into various infotainment systems, which should be much more profitable compared to Apple and Google’s car systems. What do you think of Microsoft’s latest partnership with Harman? Discuss in the comment section below.

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