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Microsoft And Volvo Integrate Skype For Business Into 90 Series Cars

As News Editor of Silicon UK, Roland keeps a keen eye on the daily tech news coverage for the site, while also focusing on stories around cyber security, public sector IT, innovation, AI, and gadgets.

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Skype for Business has just got a lot more mobile

Microsoft’s Skype for Business is being integrated into the Volvo’s 90 Series of cars, as a means to boost productivity for business workers while they are on the move.

To do this Volvo’s S90, V90 and XC90 cars will have a Skype button added to the Sensus touchscreen on their infotainment units.

The interface will display any upcoming Skype meetings and allow drivers to join them at the touch of the button rather than try and wrangle with hands-free kits, phone to car Bluetooth connection, and the Skype app on smartphones.

Volvo meets Skype

skype-for-business-volvo“We’ve all been there. Sitting in the car trying to join a conference call. You either fumble with or drop your phone while trying to connect or you forget the long pin code to join. It’s not the best way to start an important call in the car. On top of all that your attention is not where it should be – on the road. With the addition of Skype for Business all that goes away,” said Anders Tylman-Mikiewicz vice president of the consumer connectivity services division at Volvo Car Group.

Neither Microsoft or Volvo have made it clear whether the service will make use of the cellular connections found in the 90 Series of cars or rely on the mobile broadband connection provided by a smartphone tether or wirelessly connected to the cars.

Volvo’s work with Microsoft will also extend to exploring the use of the Cortana virtual assistant within cars, with the idea of adding improved voice control for non-critical car systems and enabling Cortana to serve up contextual information based on a driver’s daily life and their productivity needs while on the road.

And Tylman-Mikiewicz paints a picture of more Microsoft productivity technology finding its way into Volvo cars as they begin to embrace autonomous driving systems.

“Skype for Business represents another big step forward for our in-car connectivity and communication offer. 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. This is just the beginning of a completely new way of looking at how we spend time in the car,” he said.

Skype has been around for a while now but has evolved significantly in the years since its inception. But how much do you know about Skype?