Microsoft made a $15 million investment in location-based recommendation and discovery app Foursquare. But why?
By laying claim to part of Foursquare, Microsoft plans to buy access to data the company owns surrounding its detailed location information, with the intention of lacing Windows Phone 8.1 with new entertainment and restaurant recommendation capabilities for its users.
The push from Microsoft comes after increasing pressure from rival services like Apple’s Siri virtual assistant and Google’s Google Now feature can offer detailed recommendations and location-based information to smartphone users. But the likeness to these existing voice-based offerings doesn’t stop there, as Microsoft draws on one of its largest IPs in the world of gaming “Halo”, for inspiration.
Cortana, the name of the sentient AI from the popular video game series will be appearing on Windows Phones in some form as a means to offer users detailed recommendations on events, places to eat, things to do and more, all underpinned by this new Foursquare data.
Bloomberg reported that word of Cortana’s appearance in the upcoming release of Microsoft’s mobile OS originated from ‘a person familiar with the project and Foursquare agreement, who asked not to be identified because details haven’t been made public.’
The deal will enable Windows Phone to push location-based recommendations to users, provided they opt in to the feature. The potential for shop discounts in a user’s immediate surroundings and tips on what to do are also possibilities.
What do you think of a location-aware recommendation service on your phone? Would you like having Cortana inform you about free coffee at your nearest Starbucks, or rather she just kept quiet? Let us know in the comments.
Image credit: Xbox Wire