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Microsoft’s next app will let you track your friends

It’s a busy time for Microsoft on mobile, with Windows 10 on the horizon and the major release of Office on iOS and Android now successfully negotiated. According to Spanish site Microsoft Place, one of the Redmond firm’s next launches will be a friend-tracking app called People Sense.

In terms of functionality, think Apple’s Find My Friends or the shuttered Google Latitude (parts of which can now be found in Google+). The app, currently codenamed Buddy Aware, lets you see your pals on a (Bing) map as well as send messages, make calls and get directions right to the relevant spot. It looks like the service integrates closely with Microsoft’s other mapping and messaging apps, though the features and screens may well change before the app sees the light of day.

Related: Hands on — Windows 10 works beautifully on a phone, but it won’t win over skeptics (yet)

You’ll obviously be able to choose who else can see your location and to what level of detail, and it’s possible that People Sense is going to be one of the big new apps to appear alongside Windows 10 for smartphones later this year. Whether or not the app appears for other mobile platforms, we’ll have to wait and see, but Office has proved that Microsoft is open to the idea.

Microsoft Place says the new app is also going to integrate with other mapping features, such as the ability to specify home and work locations — you can let your family know when you’ve got to the office, for example. Microsoft itself has made no official comment on the app, but based on the walkthrough shown above it looks like it’s fairly well developed.

There are plenty of ways to track a smartphone and a friend’s location, but nothing quite beats native functionality — first and foremost it ensures that everyone’s running the relevant app, and most of the logging in and contact-adding processes are usually done for you as well. Windows Phone users should be able to get their hands (and fingers and thumbs) on People Sense in the not-too-distant future.