If you’ve ever been late to a meeting thanks to a traffic jam, or thought of a last-minute change to an important presentation during your morning commute, you’re in luck: automotive technology company Harman has announced a partnership with Microsoft Corp. that will allow drivers to access the Redmond, Washington-based tech giant’s Skype and Office 365 programs from their cars.
“This collaboration… represents a new emphasis on productivity within the car,” Harmon said in a press release announcing the partnership, which was unveiled at CES on Jan. 5.
“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,” the release, which included publicity photos showcasing the new system’s Skype meeting and e-mailing capabilities, continued.
The partnership represents a first for Microsoft, which has never licenced its software for automotive use before.
Lest drivers risk being pulled over for laying out an Excel spreadsheet while driving, however, certain functions – including Skype – will not be accessible unless the car is parked or driving itself, Harman said.
While the company hasn’t announced when its Office-enabled systems will appear in cars, it has collaborated with a variety of manufacturers in the past, including Toyota, Jeep, BMW, Mercedes, Audi, and Harley-Davidson – all of which would have final say over which features are actually included.
But hey, if you’ve ever dreamed of pulling over and finishing your speech while traffic clears up, it would appear that now is your chance.