Microsoft Chief Research and Strategy Officer, Craig Mundie compared Apple’s Siri software to Microsoft’s own TellMe service earlier this week.
The comparisons drew inevitable criticisms after Mundie claimed most of the functionality had been in Windows Phone for a year. Whilst his comments were accurate in some regards, the implementation of both systems is vastly different. The comparison between the two was highlighted in great detail on Friday after Australian blog TechAu posted a seemingly unfair comparison between the two devices.
TechAu’s video (see above) mainly featured commands that Microsoft TellMe does not currently understand. 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. 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 (see below) 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’s vision of speech across multiple devices that remember your historical preferences and likes/dislikes is a powerful one. If the company is able to realise its vision with Windows 8, Xbox Next and Windows Phone 8 then it could create a key differentiation from its competitors.
If you’re interested in seeing exactly how Microsoft’s TellMe voice recognition works in Windows Phone today, see our previous hands on video here.
Thanks to WinRumors reader HeatherL for the news tip