BMW medallions in a pile at the company's manufacturing plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina on Jan. 11, 2012.
Ariana Lindquist—Bloomberg via Getty Images
By Jonathan Vanian
July 13, 2017

Drivers now have one more distraction while commuting to and from work.

Microsoft said Thursday that its Skype for Business online phone service would soon be available in BMW automobiles that are powered by the auto company’s iDrive system. The iDrive system is BMW’s computer system with a dashboard monitor that lets people control car features like mapping services and the radio.

Microsoft (msft) has been pushing its Skype for Business to corporate customers amid increasing competition from companies like Amazon (amzn) and Google (goog). Amazon debuted its Chime video conferencing service in February while Google overhauled its Hangouts video and chatting service in May to specifically target business clients.

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As of now, both Amazon and Google’s voice services are unavailable for in-car automobile systems like BMW’s iDrive. But, that could change, especially in the case of Google, which has been focusing on its Android Auto software to power the car entertainment systems of auto companies, like Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

Microsoft said that by adding Skype for Business to BMW computer systems, employees would be able to participate in Skype business meetings while in their cars. Skype for Business handles both online calling and video conferencing.

The service will premiere in Germany, France, and the United Kingdom, followed by other unspecified countries.

In February, Microsoft debuted an India-specific version of Skype to accommodate parts of the country where Internet connections are limited.

 

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