Workaholics will soon rejoice as Harman Connected Car is teaming up with Microsoft to bring Microsoft Office in their cars.
For the first time in the automotive industry, Microsoft Office 365, which includes productivity apps such as PowerPoint, Word and Excel, will be brought into Harman’s infotainment system as a result of the partnership. The collaboration between the two companies was announced during CES 2016 in Las Vegas.
By getting access to Office 365 services, users will be able to accomplish tasks hands-free, such as hearing and responding to emails, scheduling meetings and automatically joining conference calls, thanks to Cortana integration.
“Working with Microsoft is a natural fit for Harman as we continue our track record of making the car more sophisticated, productive and intelligent,” Harman President Phil Eyler says.
The company acknowledges that car owners these days prefer an immersive, personalized experience in their automobiles. This means the demand for richer productivity is indeed strong.
Harman claims the partnership will specifically bring in these nifty functionalities with “great reliability, security and minimal distraction.”
Similarly, Microsoft’s executive vice president of business development Peggy Johnson says the integration of Office 365 into the connected car systems of Harman is going to offer new productivity solutions. He also says this collaboration will considerably transform the driving experience.
“By ensuring that Office 365 services are seamlessly integrated with car and driver telematics and performance data, we will allow consumers to be more productive during the driving hours, while enjoying for greater convenience, safety and reliability,” says Johnson.
The two companies’ effort to provide productivity on wheels is going to be powered by Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform. Johnson reveals in an interview that Microsoft is “broadening” its focus into the automotive industry. He goes on to say that the company’s focus is on cloud.
“We’ve been in the automotive arena for years and we’ve broadened it to tap into the cloud,” she says.
In the meantime, Google and Apple are also focusing on similar efforts in the form of CarPlay and Android. Also, Google is now busy testing out its autonomous cars while Apple is highly speculated to be working on its own autonomous car. In fact, in October last year, Apple was rumored to be building its second spaceship campus in Sunnyvale down the road, and this campus has been rumored to house the company’s electric cars.