Microsoft made a multimillion investment in Foursquare out of the blue the other day, leaving us to wonder what's behind it. Bloomberg is now reporting that the partnership is actually for Cortana
, Microsoft's upcoming voice-operated assistant in Windows Phone 8.1
With the deal, Microsoft will get deeper access to Foursquare's database of places and reviews, so that Cortana and other WP apps
give you personalized and location-aware recommendations, deals and tricks. “We’re building some contextually aware experiences to power some upcoming products in Windows Phone
,” commented Zig Serafin, a vice president in Microsoft’s Bing search unit.
Furthermore, Cortana will also be able to tap your stock apps, like calendar, weather, calls, alarms and charging status, which will be used for managing basic phone functions with your voice, in addition to the Bing-powered info stream
and the Foursquare crowdsourced wisdom that the personal assistant will be providing.