Microsoft Research chief talks Siri vs Windows Phone TellMe

By Tom Warren, on 23rd Nov 11 4:59 pm with 90 Comments

Microsoft Chief Research and Strategy Officer, Craig Mundie, has been discussing Apple’s Siri software versus Microsoft’s own TellMe service.

Mundie sat down with Eric Savitz from Forbes to discuss Kinect and Siri recently. “You could argue that Microsoft has had a similar capability in Windows Phones for more than a year,” said Mundie about Apple’s Siri voice recognition software. Microsoft’s TellMe service is baked into Windows Phone 7 and the latest “Mango” update includes a number of new features.

The improvements have been largely over looked in Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7.5 update, thanks to the large number of new features elsewhere in the operating system. With the release of the iPhone 4S, Apple brings a powerful new natural voice interaction to mobile devices. Microsoft’s Tellme technology is more of a command driven feature of Windows Phone right now but the company has plans to improve this in future. “We probably could learn something on the marketing side,” said Mundie referring to Apple’s marketing efforts with Siri. ”Many people were disappointed with the new phone because it wasn’t a completely new thing, so the only thing they really had to hammer on was that feature. Maybe we need to pick a feature and hammer on it harder,” he added.

Microsoft’s future Tellme speech recognition is a lot more personal and more aligned with Apple’s Siri features. Microsoft demonstrated some of its future speech recognition in Windows Phone in August. A video demonstration (YouTube) shows off a much improved speech interface that will work across devices. The current implementation in Windows Phone 7.5 is basic in comparison to Siri’s artificial intelligence but it matches Apple’s features in some key scenarios. The ability to dictate SMS messages and reply with your voice is important at times when using your hands isn’t an option, driving a car for example. Microsoft also added, with Windows Phone 7.5, the ability to make calls by name or nickname, redialing a number, calling voicemail, searching Bing, turning on the speakerphone, starting an app during a call and navigating maps.

  • rojo

    “Maybe we need to pick a feature and hammer on it harder,” he added.”

    Ya think???

  • Anonymous

    There’s no comparison :|. Microsoft has been doing voice recognition in Windows and “PocketPC” forever… I’m surprised they let Apple take the ball and run with it with Siri. I want my Windows phone to recognize a command such as “remind me of my dad’s birthday next Monday” or “don’t let me forget to pick up donuts on the way to work”.

    Here’s my suggestion, MS: Rebrand “TellMe” as “Kinect on Windows Phone”, then make a deal with IBM to use Watson’s AI technology as a personal assistance service. Expand across all your platforms (Windows, Xbox, Phone) and then open it up to developers through the Kinect SDK and your Azure Marketplace. ie: Let businesses and developers provide the ‘intelligence’ from services they create on your Azure platform.

    I bet stuff like this http://t.co/rUsfqHXo will get just as popular as Kinect home-brewing.

    -

    • Anonymous

      or you could just add it into the calender yourself?lol

    • Anonymous

      I agree that natural language speech should be better supported, but TellMe is a very good start and I think it can still hold its own against Siri for most people’s purposes. I’d prefer to see Microsoft market what they are already doing today. Let’s face it. Apple’s ads don’t show completely handsfree text messaging, even though I believe Siri enables that. Microsoft should capitalize on that oversight and make it look like they got there first (because technically, they did). And because Apple has convinced millions of people that they invented ideas and products that were not originally theirs. I think Microsoft is due one by now.

    • http://www.martinturner.org.uk Martin Turner

      No, this is a basic misunderstanding of what marketing is about, and the way Apple markets.

      None of Apple’s ads claim they invented things — Apple learned that didn’t work in the 1980s. Rather, they focus on the benefits which consumers most want. In that sense, Apple’s iPhone ads are completely uncompetitive. They don’t reference their competition, and they don’t compare the iPhone to ‘other phones out there’. Rather, they talk about ‘the best iPhone yet’, and show what you can do with it. Equally, each ad is about just one feature, not a compendium of every possible advantage. It’s all about focus.

    • Guest

      While Apple ads may not actually claim they invented things, they often leave the impression that Apple did by using terms and phrases such as “revolutionary” or “magical” or “everything has changed again”, etc. And the get a Mac ads were all about referencing a competitor.

    • http://twitter.com/mgk1969 Mark King

      I was just talking about this with someone yesterday (the Siri thermostat thing). Can you see Apple releasing a Siri SDK, funding startups that want to use it and stuff like that? Yeah, me neither.

      I have to say as far as Siri is concerned the AI and natural language aspect of it is more interesting than the speech. It’s like we’ve spent 5 years playing Zork (“go East, hit troll”) and they just released Myst. We’re still in that [command] [object] thing, e.g. “Xbox play disc”.

      It isn’t necessarily that Siri turns voice into text, it’s that it knows what to do with that text regardless of what you say to it, without needing trigger verbs.

  • Anonymous

    SMS voice reading and dictation is my favorite new feature of Windows Phone 7.5. Never understood why it’s so downplayed, I use it everyday.

    My friend and I were driving the one day in my car when I got a message, it was read to me, then I replied using my voice. He was awestruck. They should be running a 30-second ad on TV demonstrating it. I think the average consumer would be amazed to see how awesome it is in-action.

    • http://twitter.com/efjay01 Ef Jay

      “We probably could learn something on the marketing side,” said Mundie referring to Apple’s marketing efforts with Siri. ”Many people were disappointed with the new phone because it wasn’t a completely new thing, so the only thing they really had to hammer on was that feature. Maybe we need to pick a feature and hammer on it harder,” he added.”

      Basically saying the same as you, MS sucks at marketing! (No surprise to anyone).

    • Guest

      It’s worse than that. It shows the low regard that even senior MS executives have for marketing. Indeed, in that one short video you can see a lot of things that are wrong at MS and why their growth, relevance, competitive position, and value have all declined.

  • Anonymous

    does apple has a kinect-like device?

    • Anonymous

      yeah, its called…mmmm !!

      iKinect…

    • http://twitter.com/laserfloyd Lewis McCrary

      No it’s called iEye… ? iSeeYou ?? :)

  • Southerncross

    I understand Siri requires a connection to operate any function and that TellMe operates even if no connection is available.  Would appreciate clarification from those that know please.  Would appear to be a huge differentiation between the two if this is accurate.  I have also read an article where Siri’s data usage was measured which would appear to make consistent use expensive.

    • Anonymous

      It depends. Most of TellMe’s actions require a data connection, including text dictation and naturally, search. The only things that I’ve seen that don’t require a connection are text-to-speech and voice dial.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jairo-Luciano-Alves/100002545369889 Jairo Luciano Alves

    Apple is not a tech company, they are a marketing one.
    Google is not a tech company, they are an advertisement one.
    IBM is not a tech company, they are a sales one.
    Microsoft is not a tech company, they are a [put here your suggestions].

    • Anonymous

      Microsoft is a software and technology company.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jairo-Luciano-Alves/100002545369889 Jairo Luciano Alves

      Good answer. I agree with you.

    • Allah

      mosque

    • Guest

      Simplistic and inaccurate.

  • http://twitter.com/mcakins McAkins Online

    I still don’t get you Microsoft. Why do you always play catch-up to technologies you invented? MS bought L&H technology years ago that is more than Speech recognition, they never developed it further. Although Speech features has been consistently improving since Vista, they never mention anything about it.

    MS own Speech technology, the result is what you are seeing in Kinect which is the tip of Iceberg. They have feature in-house that has never made it to the public. What the heck is wrong with your MS? Have you become such a behemoth that you can’t even market technology you own, letting others steal your thunder?

    Again this boils down to the woeful performance of MS Marketing department. They should send the whole Marketing team to Apple for courses for at least a year! Men!

    • Anonymous

      what I wanted to blast at, you happen to have done it for me, ThanX bro…

    • Anonymous

      True, Microsoft needs to learn to tell people what they want. Microsoft is great at finding things they think people will find useful but they are terrible at making people feel like they must have that feature.

      Apple does a great job of brainwashing users that want to be spoon fed. Most users don’t know what technology is they want someone to be a mommy and tell them they need x and y.

    • MSfan

      Your attitude towards the consumer shows a lack of intelligence and respect.  It is a attitude similar to MS management and one of the major reason products have limited appeal.  

    • Guest

      Limited appeal like say Windows? Or Office? Or Windows Server? Or SQL? Or Sharepoint? Or Xbox? Or Kinect?

    • Guest

      Stooopid, there is no “attitude of MS management”. Top leadership is made of individuals, each with very distinctive views, opinions, and styles.  Most, including Ballmer, are very customer focused. You really need to stop talking out of your butt, under each of your aliases.

    • Avatar Roku

      I’ve always thought if I was the CEO of MS the first thing I would do is gut the marketing department save for the individuals that have worked on Xbox.

      MS marketing seems almost incapable of connecting with people in a natural human way. I thought the “I’m a PC” ads were clever, but took far too long to respond to the decade of anti-PC marketing by Apple.

      Why didn’t they focus on Windows Phone as the Facebook phone, the first true all encompassing social networking phone that connects you to every major social network from Facebook to Xbox Live?

      Some aggression couldn’t hurt either. How about a series of ads that focus on how buggy and inconsistent Android phones are compared to Windows Phones? Force closes, incompatible apps in the market,  bloated manufacturer/carrier skins, updates that take a year to roll out, and batteries that are constantly dying; there are so many weaknesses they could attack to create an image of Android as a frustrating user experience & promote WP advantages. They even have an opportunity to focus on Motorola and make them the face/identity of Android. Make fun of their over the top commercials which claim enormous power for their phones.

    • Guest

      +1

    • http://profiles.google.com/fran.acm francisco castillo

      That last paragraph… MS needs to make it happen.

    • Guest

      I know siri and Tell me your no siri

    • http://twitter.com/mgk1969 Mark King

      Maybe they should make “I’m an iPhone, I’m a Windows Phone”.

      Hi Windows Phone, look at my grid of icons pretty icons…

      Watch this one from Samsung – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FVkH9Hgvda4

    • Guest

      Fantastic ad. Exactly what MS should be doing but isn’t. Kudos to Samsung for not being afraid to go there.

    • Anonymous

      MS needs to hire whoever made that ad

    • http://twitter.com/mgk1969 Mark King

      Actually a bunch of the Bing ads are pretty good too. The new Christmas ones are entertaining. http://www.youtube.com/user/bing

    • JOE_HTH

      GOOD MARKETING!!!!!!!! nope, just great EXECUTION!:

      makes MS Mundel look like an idiot.

    • Anonymous

      I watched that Siri vs. Tellme thing earlier this morning. I do think Siri is better than TellMe, because the AI behind it can parse your intention out of what you say – but to be brutally honest I couldn’t care less, I can’t see myself talking to my phone anyway.

      Also I think these kind of systems get better the more you use them? So I would like to see the same experiment on two brand new (or reset) phones. I suspect Siri would still win.

      Although you could try asking it “open twitter” and see what happens – so far Siri can’t open outside apps. I do wonder is Siri will be OS only or Apple will release an API for app developers.

    • Guest

      It isn’t just marketing. MS has been investing heavily in speech recogniton since the 90′s. Nothing much ever came of that and they ended up going outside and acquiring TellMe for nearly 3/4 billion dollars a few years back. They go that implemented for Xbox and the limited presence in WP. Of course they didn’t make a point of marketing either very heavily. And now they appear to have been surpassed technically by Siri and Nuance, who Apple was smart enough to buy and license respectively. And then Apple quickly implemented it where it would have the most impact and marketed the hell out of it. The result being they’re now perceived as the leaders in the space. In fact if you query siri vs TellMe, you’ll mostly get returns on siri vs Google.

    • http://www.martinturner.org.uk Martin Turner

      Apple had speech recognition on the Mac in the 1990s. IBM had ViaVoice. All of them worked — kind of. The problem is, speech recognition that works kind of is just not good enough to be useful. I turned off Mac voice recognition after a week, and deleted ViaVoice after two weeks. Siri is the first one that actually works reliably. And, yes, we have tested this in one-to-one tests against other devices including the Samsung Galaxy S II

    • Guest

      A lot of TellMe users would disagree with you.

    • http://www.martinturner.org.uk Martin Turner

      Replying to Guest, below (sorry, the reply button seems to be missing):

      A lot of ViaVoice users also disagreed with me, and stubbornly persisted in using it even though they spent more time correcting than it would have done to type straight off.

    • Guest

      @ Martin Turner

      Have you used TellMe? My guess is no. It was powering numerous corporations before MS acquired it and has subsequently been used by millions of Xbox users. Taking thr position that it doesn’t work isn’t credible. Sorry.  

    • J A

      Yup, MS certainly needs to fire their entire adversiting department for sucking so much in delivering any useful product ad. I have been crying for ages for them to learn from Apple ads; simple and straight to the point with just a pair of hands (that demonstrates everyday use), a voice over, a device, and nothing else to clutter the ad message. They can easily create at least six ads like this, one for each hub.

    • MSfan

      It is not the marketing departments fault, it is upper management starting with Ballmer,  He has a reactive management style and no real understand to be able to define the MS brand beyond WIndows and Office.   That is why products does not have a unify feel nor does any marketing of them really reinforce a brand that people can or even want to relate to.  

    • AndyRee

      U one good writer.

    • DkofDunce

      Dude, where did you learn English? You can’t get through one sentence without making a spelling or grammar error. Meanwhile you’re criticizing Ballmer’s running of a multi-billion business? When you’ve mastered the basics, come back and maybe someone will take you seriously.

  • Anonymous

    You’ve got to give it to Apple. SIRI does much better Tellme .. Sad thing is they bought it fir half the price Microsoft bought Tellme

    • philip

      TellMe and Siri don’t do the same thing, though. TellMe does voice recognition, while Siri does not. Apple licenses the voice recognition from Nuance. 

  • Anonymous

    As I always say there is some kinda internal sabotage / politics within Microsoft.

  • Cordell Lawrence

    lol. I own a windows phone, develop on windows and I’m a big fan of the platform. Microsoft’s voice dictation on Mango is pretty good, but that only came in Mango. Our Android friends have had this for a very long time. My former boss laughed at me when we were comparing features last November.

    I’m a big supporter of Windows, but come on MS, Siri is markedly different from anything that Microsoft has at the moment. Come on … give jack his jacket.

  • Avatar Roku

    That Tellme future video is Siri. A few months ago there was a ZDNet article about how great the voice capabilities are in Windows Phone where the writer described all the scenarios he had used it in his life. I said in the comments section those scenarios he described should be actual windows phone commercials. A couple months later Apple unveils Siri and all of their marketing surrounds the voice capabilities of the phone. Ineffective marketing is hurting Microsoft so badly.

    • http://twitter.com/JoshMartin7 Josh Martin

      “Ineffective marketing is hurting Microsoft so badly.” I couldn’t agree with you more. And I was very happy to hear Mundie say “we need to pick a feature and hammer on it harder” THAT is what I’m hoping to see come out of Microsoft very soon.

    • Guest

      Your take on Mundie’s admission is completely different from mine. I’m with Rojo (below). That’s so obvious that it’s embarassing Mundie only figures it out after having it pointed out to him.

    • Guest

      Siri!=TellMe. Siri+Nuance = TellMe. The TellMe future video shows the front end of TellMe starting to approximate the more natural/conversational aspects of the current Siri. Of course a video != a product. And now it doesn’t matter because MS will now be seen as copying Apple. Yes, MS’s ineffective marketing is hurting it badly. It has been for many years.

  • Guest

    Craig Mundie is another senior executive who should be fired. Too much complacency. Too many excuses. Too much arrogance based on technical assessments and not market ones. Look at the reaction to SIRI’s mindshare. His initially reaction is to write it all off entirely as an “infactuation” with anything Apple. It’s Savitz who has to point out that it’s at least brilliant marketing, which is indeed correct. SIRI and TellMe aren’t equivalents. SIRI is a front-end technology only. But what it does is far ahead of TellMe. And now, thanks to Apple’s marketing, Apple is once again seen as the leader and everyone else, including MS, the follower. And Mundie doesn’t get any of that.  

    • http://twitter.com/JoshMartin7 Josh Martin

      I disagree. Mundie is a very bright mind at Microsoft but I think that his responsibilities have been too… diverse? I think that he needs to be dedicated to Research direction and be the face of that and not trying to dabble into the marketing, sales, and other departments at Microsoft.

    • Guest

      MS’s R&D for the most part has failed to deliver. And much of that failure is because it is divorced from the operating parts of the business. What I’d like in a head of R&D is someone who has an excellent handle on current market reality and can figure out where and how R&D can help MS improve its competitive position. Being very bright but having to constantly make excuses for MS falling behind doesn’t cut it.

  • http://twitter.com/laserfloyd Lewis McCrary

    It’s the same thing it’s been for years.  MS develops a cool technology and people just seem shocked that it’s even possible.  I talk about Kinect at work and people say “This is a Microsoft product?”  If I were to switch it out and say it was Apple, people wouldn’t be surprised.   People get uncomfortable and twitchy when MS rocks something awesome.  It’s just expected that Apple will do it.  :P

    • Anonymous

      That’s because over the last ten years everyone has been told to (or at least subconsciously suggested that they should) hate Microsoft. They are this evil corporation that Apple and Google have come to save us from. I can’t wait until the day people wake up and realize that at least Microsoft and Apple are ethical enough to take your money (not sarcasm, see next paragraph). Arguably, Apple overprices their products that are, by component, exactly the same as their PC counterparts. But that’s Apple’s right to extort and gouge sheep consumers who are foolish enough to believe their marketing.

      But the one that tops them all is “Google is free”: when people completely ignore the amount of data mining and personal information that they open up to advertisers by using Google. Not that other companies don’t do it, but Google has such a vast range of web properties and a presence on almost every site with products like Google+ and AdWords, there is almost no escaping them. I’ve managed to avoid Apple products my entire life, but sadly, as soon as you open most web browsers you’ve already communicated with Google whether you intended to or not.

    • http://twitter.com/mcakins McAkins Online

       Sadly enough it seems Google is a better brainwasher
      than Apple. Everyone knows what Google stands for, and 99.99999% still prefer to
      use their product. Look at the rush to use Google+ where you’re practically
      giving Google the details of your life. Before they have to come and get it from
      your PC, now you are bringing it to them on a gold platter.

      Nothing comes free in life, how many times people have
      to be told this? By using Google’s product you agree you are the
      cow to be milked at will by Google. Just this week the story broke that there is
      a trojan software installed on Android phones by a Google affiliated company for
      Mobile vendors, discovered by a fellow at XDA-Developers. They are threatening
      him with fire and brimstone.

      Google is a data thief. Say it loud, Google is a Data
      Thief. Let it echo in your mind for a while, then continue to use their product
      at your peril. As for me, I don’t touch Google’s products, I have actively
      resisted using anything Google up till now, and I am pretty well. Thank
      you!

    • Guest

      I don’t think many Google users actually realize how much information they’re giving up. Or else they rationalize and think Yahoo and MS are similar, which isn’t quite true. Google is still in that cuddly stage, which MS used to enjoy but lost and Apple lost but has since recovered.

    • http://www.martinturner.org.uk Martin Turner

      That’s a highly simplistic and rather naive view of marketing. If marketing could really fool ‘all of the people all of the time’ as you seem to be suggesting, every company would be imitating Apple and using the same marketing techniques. However, no such techniques actually exist.

      I don’t personally hate Microsoft at all, and never have. When I worked for a voluntary organisation, Microsoft was very generous in supplying its software to us for free. However, I do experience the difference between the two companies’ approaches every time I switch on a Mac or a Windows PC, and every time I load up Office.

      Microsoft is all about maximum number of functions, Apple is all about maximum focus. Microsoft tries to support every hardware combination under the sun. Apple limits itself to just four ranges of Mac (iMac, MacBook, MacBook Pro and Mac Pro) at any one time. It’s that features vs focus that makes it very hard for Microsoft to really limit themselves to talking about just one thing.

    • Guest

      If your claim is that marketing (including manipulating information and the media), doesn’t play a critical role in Apple’s success and ability to charge 4x the industry’s average margin, and that instead it’s just about the product advantages, then you’re the one being naive and simplistic.

    • http://www.martinturner.org.uk Martin Turner

      Guest (below), sorry, having difficulty replying to your posts because your reply button is missing.

      I suspect you don’t know anything about marketing.

      Marketing is not, as you appear to think, manipulating information. Rather, it’s a whole systems process which begins with identifying what consumers are going to want a couple of years down the line, then creating a product that does that, then bringing it to market, and then heavily promoting the benefit you originally designed it to have.

      This is why Apple’s marketing often seems ‘magic’ to people who like it, and ‘diabolical’ to people who don’t — because they correctly predict what consumers will want to buy. Other manufacturers in the sector are driven by what the competition is doing, and what the technology has made possible.

      Essentially, the public are not interested in your product’s superior (to you) features. They are only interested in the benefits to them. If your product doesn’t offer benefits, because you didn’t correctly work out what they would want, then its superior features do you no good whatsoever.

      You don’t need to take my word for this — buy any book about marketing from Amazon, or look up marketing at the Chartered Institute of Marketing or (if you must) on Wikipedia.

      Thanks for reading.

    • Guest

      @ Martin Turner

      You suspect wrong. And your defense of Apple’s tactics and inability to acknowledge the truth of what I said is telling.

    • http://www.martinturner.org.uk Martin Turner

      Sorry ‘Guest’. I have absolutely no idea who you are or what you do. Are you a Chartered Marketer? If so, why are you taking a position which is opposite of the standard definition of marketing? If not Chartered, what are your marketing qualifications? Simply posting as ‘Guest’ doesn’t do a lot for your credibility.

    • Guest

      @ Martin Turner

      You don’t need any idea of who I am or what I do. Nor am I taking a taking a position opposite to the standard defintioon of marketing. If you want to debate my actual original *statement* when you’re finished trying to change the subject, avoiding, obfuscating, and questioning my credibllity and background, let me know.

    • adamfthorn

      “Arguably, Apple overprices their products that are, by component, exactly the same as their PC counterparts. But that’s Apple’s right to extort and gouge sheep consumers who are foolish enough to believe their marketing.”

      I don’t seem to follow your logic considering for example the Macbook Air which PC manufactures are struggling to at least meet the sub $1000 price point and offer the same components. One piece aluminum construction? Completely solid state hard drives? Newest Ivy Bridge processors? Where is the premium? Other manufacturers can only meet the low price if the sacrifice components such as plastic cases or typical platter drives.

    • Guest

      That’s because like most iTards you selectively cherry pick machines to compare. So you ignore the MB, MBP, or Mac Mini, none of which compare favorably, and select the MBA which more so than the others does. It has taken OEMs longer than usual to get their MBA competitors out. But now that ultrabooks are starting to enter the market we’re already seeing units price competitive with the MBA. And that will only continue. Of course, you’ll wait for the next MB or MBP, and for the month or so that it’s price competitive, after a year or two of not being so, you’ll claim value superiority. You guys are predictable clowns.

    • Guest

      MS didn’t develop this technology. They bought it. Just like Apple did. The difference is that Apple spent an estimate $200 million whereas MS paid $700.

  • Anonymous

    “Windows Phone 7.5 is basic in comparison to Siri’s artificial intelligence”
    @Tom Warren Are you joking?  Artificial intelligence, really?  So the bar for AI is a canned response to specific commands, and by that standard historians will look back on this time an say that the first AI device was ‘Tickle Me Elmo’.  Really?  Just as an FYI the R2D2 available from Hammacher Schlemmer isn’t an actual astromech.

    • http://twitter.com/mcakins McAkins Online

      Exactly my point too. Now that everyone call Siri = AI, what are they gonna call IBM Watson? That is a system that won a Quiz on its own using natural language and intent recognition. So what should we call Watson, Sentient being? It is ridiculous each time Apple come out with a marketing yarn, everyone loose their head, even those so called Technical Journals that are supposed to know better join in the disemination of complete falsehood. Siri is not AI, it has not and will never compete with a human being and win in intelligence brawl. Look at the stupid answer it is giving to questions. Grow up people.

    • Anonymous

      “What are they gonna call IBM Watson?”, a voter!  scary!

  • http://www.martinturner.org.uk Martin Turner

    Voice recognition has been around since the late 1990s on both PCs and Macs. What Siri does uniquely is not voice recognition but natural language processing.

    Microsoft does need to brush up on its marketing, but marketing is not simply ‘telling people about your features’. Marketing is a full-system process which begins with identifying what is going to appeal to consumers once launched, developing it in a product, and then bringing it to market at price consumers will pay. The advertising of it at that point is successful or unsuccessful based on how well the rest of the process worked. It’s this that Microsoft need to get their minds round, not simply ‘talking up’ product features.

    • Guest

      Exactly.

  • Anonymous

    Tellme should be the go-to app to control everything in a Microsoft ecosytem for example while driving I can say “Record Boardwalk Empire on Xbox” and Tellme will automatically send a command to record Boardwalk empire on your Xbox.

    Or say Tell me download Rhianna’s latest album and it will download the album for you on Zune etc

  • Skrutt

    There are edgy MS ads and marketing campaigns in other markets than the US market. Basically, because any MS marketing dept in the US have to make sure they are not making any single US individual angry on the basis of a plethora of belief systems, political views, local US culture ( joking about Cow tipping in Nebraska can be made almost universally fun, but sadly not in Nebraska) etc etc etc. Thus, it becomes bland, dull, even ridiculously political correct. MS need a Marketing Exec with freedom from sales execs, a bunch of product execs and no Steve Ballmer yelling about a bozo in Nebraska feeling discriminated if an ad works for all other 6 billion humans but not for Joe sixpack. Win the masses, not everyone. Globally. And remember US is 5% of the worlds population. only.

  • http://www.facebook.com/MRWisbey Morgan Wisbey

    “Maybe we could learn something on the marketing side”

    AAAAND this year’s understatement of the year is awarded to……………

  • http://www.mainstreetchatham.com/ JimmyFal

    Microsoft should look not as much as the content of this thread, but the length of it and the topic. The headline shouldn’t be why is Ballmer still here, but why is the marketing team still there.

  • http://www.mainstreetchatham.com/ JimmyFal

    Microsoft should look not as much as the content of this thread, but the length of it and the topic. The headline shouldn’t be why is Ballmer still here, but why is the marketing team still there.

    • Guest

      Ballmer is the person who has overseen the decline in MS’s marketing ability over a decade. He’s the one who left Mitch Matthews in place for most of that. He’s the one who hired her replacement, who appears to be equally useless. And he’s the one who let’s ridiculously bad commercials air which damage MS’s reputation while also failing to sell the product. Beyond that it’s a pervasive blindspot across the company, with the possible exception of Xbox.

  • Adamfthorn

    It is extremely short sighted to compare TellMe to Siri on their face value of “voice command system”. Do they both dictate text, perform functions such as make calls, and tell the user about the weather? Yes. Do they do both of these functions in the same way? No. TellMe requires key verb commands which are shown in blue. TEXT Molly ________ FIND me ________ WEATHER in _________. Meanwhile a user can have a conversation with Siri along the lines of “What does a weasel look like?” and “Do I need a rain coat today?”. You would not get the correct responses if you said those same statements to TellMe. The benefit is not voice commands, it is device interaction.

    I find it peculiar that such a top exec at MS is choosing to ignore the real feature of Siri. I thought they were smarter than this.

    • Guest

      Remove Nuance and how well does Siri function? Oh right, it doesn’t.

    • Adamfthorn

      Ok. And?

  • Nick Hayday

    they’re exactly the same http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHoukZpMhDE

    • Adamfthorn

      Clearly the user wanted to web search for anal rather than set his meeting! Only Microsoft’s PR department can fix that!

    • Guest

      One of the advantages of coming into the market years late, as Apple has, is that you get to sit back and see what everyone else has done and figure out where you might get an edge, at least for a while. Siri provides that. For now. Of course Apple is still reliant on Nuance for the back end. That’s a bit embarrassing huh?

  • Guest

    Personally as a windows enthusiast i was a little dissapointed with tellme and the speach recognition features for users in australia (HD7) and have decided to adopt siri and igadgets untill the next windows revision…
    looking forward to coming back…

    • Guest

      You don’t need speech recognition, dude. You need spell check.

  • Guest

    I hope Mundie was just talking his book… but if he actually (privately) thinks that the two voice command features are comparable… that would freak me out a great deal. Apple’s implementation (Siri) is a lot NUI-friendlier than Microsoft’s implementation (TellMe)… that’s just a fact. 

    • MSfan

      Word!