Microsoft has just invested 15 million dollars into Foursquare, the location-based social network. Not only has it just invested a boatload of cash, but it also picked up a multi-year license contract to data. That data will become increasingly useful in Microsoft’s Bing platform and for Windows Phone. Is this the result of talks between the two companies that started last summer?
The move is a win-win for all parties involved. Foursquare adds more funding (they raised $35 million in December) and Microsoft will get access to some pretty useful data. However, this isn’t your typical location data that Microsoft is picking up. The licensing deal Microsoft struck with Foursquare will give grant data access and technical components that can be used and integrated into Bing, Windows Phone, and Windows 8.
Microsoft is getting more access to Foursquare’s data than any other entity has had. We’ll have to see how useful this data is, but it’s not hard to imagine the impact it can have in improving Microsoft’s services. Microsoft is also hoping this move will improve their position in contextual computing.
Contextual computing is where your devices are aware of their surrounding environment. The hope is to provide users with value by being aware of not only them, but their location. Data provided by Foursquare is one why Microsoft is preparing to improve.
The full details of the integration are still secret between the two companies. Speaking to TechCrunch, both Microsoft and Foursquare stated that we’ll start seeing the integration in the coming months. Which means we’re pretty excited to see this data used with Cortana.