Microsoft Buys Stake In Foursquare To Help Power Siri Competitor

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Microsoft didn’t just announced a new CEO today. They also announced that they were buying a $15 million stake in popular mobile check-in app Foursquare. But to what end?

The deal, confirmed by both Microsoft and Foursquare, would primarily give the Seattle Windows maker access to Foursquare’s data, which it could then leverage in various ways in Windows Phone, Bing, or more.

For example, one use of Foursquare data could be to offer nearby restaurant recommendations on Windows Phone based on your previous check-in data. And, in fact, Microsoft is allegedly thinking of leveraging Foursquare data natively in Cortana, its upcoming Siri competitor that is expected to launch this spring alongside Windows Phone 8.1. That’s smart: Siri is basically a patchwork of the partnerships Apple has forged with other companies.

On the decline or not, $15 million is still chump change for Microsoft. This seems like a no-brainer investment, especially if it can lock the likes of Apple and Google out of capitalizing on their own Foursquare partnerships.

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John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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