This week we’re excited by the pioneering new app, Microsoft BMW Connected, which looks set to change driving as we know it! We’re not leaving the non-drivers out though as we also have some great news about a Starbucks/Outlook collaboration and a procrastination tool that is entertaining and educational.

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via blogs.microsoft.com
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Microsoft have annouced two exciting collaborations with BMW and Toyota that will “connect drivers to the future”. Microsoft BMW Connected is powered by Open Mobility Cloud and is designed to become a virtual PA, coordinating your schedule with traffic, telling you when you need to leave for an appointment and even sniffing out parking spaces for you. Basically, the app sounds like everything you could want in an assistant!

Similarly, Toyota Connected seems to have the same objectives – an in car app to make driving “more personal, more intuitive and safer”. There’s less information available on this app but, based on the name, we can only presume it will be the same format as its BMW counterpart.

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[av_heading heading=’Starbucks Comes to Outlook’ tag=’h3′ style=” size=” subheading_active=” subheading_size=’15’ padding=’10’ color=’custom-color-heading’ custom_font=’#3fa0cf’][/av_heading]

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Gerri Martin-Flickinger, Starbucks CTO, at Microsoft Build.
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In an exciting update for all you coffee addicts out there, a Microsoft Outlook add-in will soon allow you to set up meetings at your local branch of Starbucks. Just as you would add in a location normally, you will be able to arrange to meet at nearby location of the coffee chain and even purchase or send gift cards through the email program.

We think this is will be an especially valuable feature for freelancers and those without a permanent office space! Hopefully this is the start of many useful collaborations with Microsoft and the outside world.

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via ‘Animal Noises’ Google search
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Seeing as it’s Friday, we thought we’d give you some last minute procrastination for the weekend. If you happen to forget what a cow, turkey or lion sounds like, by Googling ‘animal noises’ you can now bring up an interactive list of animal noises to remind you.

This feature might have been designed with children in mind, but seeing as we’ve now learnt what noises moose, zebra and raccoons make I’d say that this is a vital tool for anyone.

Thank you for joining us for this week’s 848 Update!