Competing with Apple sounds like one huge thing that is on the minds of Microsoft’s think tanks. The company recently bought $15 million worth of shares in Foursquare with an intention to use its data to offer a location guide to Windows Phone users.
Bloomberg has reported on authority of an unknown source that the data from Foursquare’s database will be used in the voice based personal assistant ‘Cortana’ which is being developed to counter Apple’s insanely popular Siri technology.
Zig Serafin, a vice president in Microsoft’s Bing search unit did divulge that the investment in Foursquare does relate to Windows Phones:
“We’re building some contextually aware experiences to power some upcoming products in Windows Phone. This will be for anywhere you get a Bing-powered experience.”
The personal assistant has been named after the artificially intelligent character from the Halo series and is expected to launch along with the Windows Phone 8.1 in several months time.
As far as Foursquare is concerned, it will allow the personal assistant to manage search results based on where you are and suggest nearby restaurants and other businesses. Other than this, Cortana will obviously have access to your system apps like calendar, calls, weather reports and alarms.
No one at Microsoft or Foursquare has commented on the matter of Cortana specifically but the information seems legit, considering the source.