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Microsoft’s Investment in Foursquare is for Personal Assistant App ‘Cortana’

CortanaMicrosoft invested $15 million in Foursquare Labs Inc., forging a partnership that will help Windows-powered phones offer restaurant and entertainment suggestions to consumers on the move. The investment, confirmed in an interview by Foursquare Chief Executive Officer Dennis Crowley, is part of a funding round from late last year that valued New York-based Foursquare at more than $600 million, people with knowledge of the terms said in December. Microsoft is adding features to its Windows Phone software in an effort to compete with Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android software, which together dominate the smartphone market. Location data from Foursquare will appear in a voice-activated assistant, code-named Cortana, that has yet to be released and will go up against Apple’s Siri technology, according to a person with knowledge of the plans.

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More Stories By Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the host of NBC Universal’s Live Digital with Shelly Palmer, a weekly half-hour television show about living and working in a digital world. He is Fox 5′s (WNYW-TV New York) Tech Expert and the host of United Stations Radio Network’s, MediaBytes, a daily syndicated radio report that features insightful commentary and a unique insiders take on the biggest stories in technology, media, and entertainment.