Every brand is trying to connect with local audiences, and local coupon and savings websites and mobile apps have exploded in popularity over the course of the past year. Groupon leads the buzz, but a failed buyout attempt by Google last year left the doors wide open for the industry to expand.
Microsoft is attempting to seize the opportunity by going in a different direction than Google (who is rumored to now be looking to launch its own program called Google Offers). This week, Microsoft announced it is partnering with Dealmap, an online deal aggregator, to offer localized deals through Microsoft’s Bing search engine to U.S. users. The video below appeared on the Bing blog with all the details.
The new partnership between Bing and Dealmap brings over 200,000 deals in over 14,000 U.S. cities via both the web and a mobile app for both iPhone and Android devices. Deals come from well-known sources such as Groupon, Restaurant.com, and Living Social. Users can browse for deals by location, business name, keyword, or category. They can also save deals that they find and like, or they can email deals to friends. Of course, they can also claim deals with the deal provider.
Ironically, the new Microsoft and Dealmap service only works on HTML5-enabled mobile devices. That means people who own devices that use Microsoft’s own Windows Phone 7 won’t be able to use it. Microsoft claims that Windows Phone 7 should support HTML5 by the end of 2011.
Now, the ball is in Google’s court. We’ll have to wait and see how Google responds, because you know they won’t leave the localized deal platform launched by Microsoft and Dealmap unanswered. If the rumor reported on Mashable in January about Google Offers is accurate, we might not have to wait very long to see the next stage of this story unfold.
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