It’s interesting watching the relationship between Microsoft and Nokia unfold. The two companies entered into a definitive agreement to make the Windows Phone platform Nokia’s primary mobile OS, plus in the same deal Microsoft’s Bing division gained access to Nokia’s location-based services NAVTEQ, mainly for maps. We recently saw Nokia unveil the WP7 Lumia 800 and 710, these should be coming to Canada in some form “early 2012”.
Now from a Microsoft job posted it seems the company is working towards making Maps a better user experience. They state they are looking for people who can build “the best experience on any phone for discovering and getting to places in the real world” (apart from the fake world), and that it will go beyond the “map” we know today, extending it towards offering transit info and possibly site seeing recommendations – plus Microsoft might be pulling in some mobile advertising into the maps as they’re interested to integrate “contextually relevant and dynamic, with information like reviews from social networks, live events, offers/coupons”.
Here’s the description of the Software Development Engineer job posting:
“We are looking for a strong and experienced SDET to help build and test the next generation Maps experience on Windows Phone. As a member of the team you will be instrumental in building the best experience on any phone for discovering and getting to places in the real world. This will go far beyond the experience of today with looking up the address of a place and finding directions using a map. Places in future versions of Windows Phone will be contextually relevant and dynamic, with information like reviews from social networks, live events, offers/coupons and other rich information on a global scale. Maps will be a tightly coupled experience that will cover the basic end user expectations (e.g. get me directions) that users associate with a place. You will help extend the definition of maps from just a navigation tool to a dynamic canvas that can be used for overlaying rich location-centric data (e.g. transit information) and creating brand new experiences (e.g. map of a popular sightseeing tour)”.