A couple of months ago I provided a list of new bits and pieces in the ‘Mango’ update to Windows Phone 7. One of the things I didn’t include was ‘local scout’. This feature can be accessed from the Bing search screen, or it can be pinned to the start screen. The first time I used local scout was in York – I was staying the night at a hotel and after seven hours of sleep I was ready for a spot of breakfast. However, I usually make a stand against expensive hotel breakfasts (all I want is a cup of tea and a couple of slices of toast) and so when they told me it was £15 for the continental breakfast I turned on my heels and left the breakfast room. That £15 wouldn’t have come from my pocket, but I don’t see why my employer should be ripped off.

Despite my principles I still needed feeding, so I checked out, got in the car and pressed the local scout tile. There was a McDonalds just over a mile away, and a McMuffin is a good way to start a day. I pressed the McDonalds entry, then ‘directions from my location’ and I was there in five minutes. Local scout saved Microsoft £12.

So, what does local scout make of Camberley? The screenshots you’re seeing here (click on them for larger versions) are based on the location of my house, and indeed the nearest of Camberley’s fine food and drink establishments is The Carpenters’ Arms. Having said that, there’s so many things bunched together in the town centre I don’t think the order means too much in this example. Clicking on any of the selected places provides the address, phone number, reviews and ratings, and of course the directions.

There’s also a list of things to see and do. I’ve been to the Vue cinema, but I’ve never been to the Surrey Heath Museum (which is a tragedy). Further down the list, out of view on the screenshot, is the Basingstoke Canal Centre. We’re going to leave that for a day when we’re really bored.

The third page on local scout, not pictured here, is shopping. And again, local scout gets it right… the Majestic Wine Warehouse is the nearest shop to us, located before we get to the town centre.

On each of the results page a small map appears at the top – clicking on it expands the map to full page and shows the locations of the exciting places in Camberley. There are two new hotels being built in the town centre, so why not consider a holiday here in the jewel of Surrey Heath?

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