The future of Windows Phone voice control puts it on par with Siri [video]

By Tom Warren, on 25th Nov 11 10:06 pm with 124 Comments

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

  • Jakis


  • Cory Dolphin

    Fun experiment! How is your search history? And why no comparison of Google’s Voice search? 

    Also, general information about setup and other history with the devices is clearly important, reasonable voice recognition algorithms are adaptive, part of the reason why Google recognizes my voice almost perfectly, partially because it has a few thousand examples and tens of thousands of queries with which to infer my questions from.
    Tl;dr? Reset both devices, ensure the same language configuration or at least report what the settings were :-)

    • Anonymous

      All of them are adaptive, Siri & TellMe just need more time to build up.

  • Denis Jelec

    I remember this video :) However, in the eyes of many it will always be: “Apple was first” or something similar.

    • Anonymous

      Wait, but I thought WP voice software was already on par with Siri? Not only that, but I thought voice control was just a novelty feature?

    • Denis Jelec

      On par meaning what? :) 
      That it works in conversational form? No. 
      That it works with a preset number of commands? Yes. 
      Does Siri have more functionality? Yes.Did I question it at all? No.
      Will people still think Apple invented voice control? Probably. :)
      Is Siri good? Of course.

  • BH

    Yep, MS just got “smoked” in this video….. Nice try MS – Maybe 2013 for you since you move so slow….

    • Nick Webster

      Did you even read the article? Or did you just watch the video and assumed the article agreed with the Video?

    • Guest

      No time to read in detail. She’s pretty busy right now running from MS site to MS site using different aliases to post effectively the same comment.

  • Kieran Kelly

    Worst comparison video I’ve ever seen

    • Anonymous

      Outcome not what you wanted?

    • Guest

      Teen Anal… LOL = major MS FAIL

    • Anonymous

      i agree that siri is better right now,, but the comparison is stupid because TellMe isn’t designed to take orders as conversations, its basically as search engine. if you want the weather in Perth, you say “weather in perth”, not “what is the weather in Perth” its because it uses everything you say in the search. Plus its not integrated in the system Apps, so it cant create appointments.. but it can call people and send texts

    • Jryle88

      Yes, but the point is that MS brought the comparison upon themselves when saying TellMe had been in Windows Phone a year before Siri was introduced, and that they are on par, which is clearly misleading 

    • Guest


      TellMe *was* on the WP a year before Siri was introduced. Mundie didn’t bring the “comparison upon themselves”, he was asked about it specifically. He also didn’t say they were on a par, which normally indicates “at the same level”. He said “you could argue we’ve had similar capability on WP for a year” and then went on to give specific accurate examples of things TellMe has done for a year that Apple is only doing now. That argument *can* certainly be made and backed up with specifics. But when it comes to natural language queries specifically, Siri is clearly ahead at this time and Mundie should have conceded that.

    • Guest

      “TellMe *was* on the WP a year before Siri was introduced”

      I should have clarified this by adding “by Apple as part of the OS”.

    • Anonymous

      How so.  I thought was the best.  No only was the Apple solution working it worked way faster.  What an offing joke that TellMe stuff is.

    • Anonymous

      Actually I just tried every command they used and it understood me perfectly for all of them it just couldn’t do much with them but send me to Bing which did give me pretty good responses. It seems tell me doesn’t like Australian accents. It seems like siri is better integrated and more internationalized but given siri’s popularity I suspect ms will give this top priority to match or surpass.

    • Leon Kernan

      Australian accents are hard for all of the devices it seems, my iphone 4 gets it right about a third of the time and my Windows Phone 7.5 just don’t understand anything i say.

    • Anonymous

      not sure if your from the UK, but the siri solution is a joke, doesn’t work for most of the regional stuff

    • Anonymous

      Yep ..

      Someone can easily put a video based on commands or languages that TellMe understand and Siri can’t comprehend.

      Also it’s not that hard to make Siri fail in recognizing speech:

    • Anonymous

      LOLOLOL!!!  Siri doesn’t like asians???

      Seriously, though, that vid (along with others) make me realize there is a lot of smoke and mirrors going on with Siri.  Within a narrow scope of parameters, it impresses immensely.  Outside of that, though …

      A friend of mine that is a self proclaimed iPhone and Google evangelist (and yes, the irony of that in the mobile space has not been lost on me) was showing off his 4S recently at a gathering and chose to ask it the umbrella question and a square root question.  I told him using it as a toy and show something useful.  All he had was setting up an appointment on the calender (which is a great feature) and that’s it. 

      As said before, it’s a neat toy that has some great practical uses, but not the revelation he and others make it out to be.  I swear I can’t stand fanboys …

  • Penta2100

    The windows phone was off. especially the the one where it thought it told him  “teen anal”

    • Tom W

      Or maybe it was just intelligent and looked at his search history? ;)

    • Anonymous

      It shouldn’t be looking at the past, it should have been focused on what he was saying in the present.

    • Anonymous

      You’re right Tom. That must have happened!

  • Guest

    Well, I agree the video is a bit unfair. On the other hand, which would you prefer to use as an interface: commands or conversation? Even MS clearly understands that the latter is preferable, which is why they’re working towards that vision. But it’s hard not to look at this and say Siri beat them there.

    Instead of Mundie trying to deny the obvious, he should have talked about where TellMe is ahead, including all the back end. And MS should have put out their own video by now showing TellMe vs Siri using the commands TellMe was designed for, and showing the things it can do that Siri can’t at all. That at least would help them look less pathetic today while they work on catching up on the conversational side.

    • Tom W

      Yeah agreed there. I’d like to see Mundie talk up the future of TellMe. Microsoft can’t promise this stuff anymore, they need to deliver.

    • Denis Jelec

      +1 Agreed. Concept videos are cool, but it doesn’t sell – product does.

    • HeatherL

      I completely agree with you Tom and thank you for the recognition. 

    • Rigouh

      Commands! Like a boss! :D

    • Anonymous

      How is it unfair?  It clearly shows the state of voice on each platform.  The rubber met the road in that video, its NOT marketing hype just the plain simple truth.

    • Candid Calum

      It doesn’t clearly show the state of voice on each platform. One can say “Text Chloe” or “Send a text to Chloe” to a Windows Phone, and it will prompt them to write or say the message. That part of the comparison video is incorrect. I’ve just tried it with my Windows Phone.

    • Guest

      I explained how it’s a bit unfair. If you lack the reading comprehension or knowledge base to understand that, then fix your own shortcomings.

  • Anonymous

    it’s obvious that guy is a pro-fruit fan otherwise he would have realized that wp7 could actually do a lot of things locally as opposed to internet driven Shit-ri gimmick the fruit company is trying to sell.

  • Anonymous

    @Tom Warren, maybe you should not talk about artificial intelligence until you understand what it is.  Calling Siri artificial intelligence is like claiming Speak and Spell should be a candidate for a PHD at Harvard

    • Pantou Ekang

      Sorry Boy , but siri is an artificial intelligence machine

    • Anonymous

      Sorry but Siri is not self aware, it’s a polished UI to be sure but not sentient.

    • Pantou Ekang

      The consumer doesnt need to know what it is. The most important thing is to do exactly his job. It could be very primitiv programing, but it must perform its function.Currently, even a Microsoft fanboy must admit that Siri is more ”intelligent” than “Tellme”.

    • Pantou Ekang

      Microsoft makes us ”Project NATAL 2″ with ”Tellme”. He made ​​promises in terms of presentation of a possible beautifull project. At the end, we have no voice recognition, but an hybrid_primitive_sequences answering voice.

    • fpmore

      Being self aware it’s not a requirement for an app which uses artificial intelligence principles or techniques. “So maybe you should not talk about artificial intelligence until you understand what it is.”

    • Alex H

      I agree. Siri is not Artificial Intelligence, but rather Virtual Intelligence. Big difference. Siri appears to be sentient, but in reality is only command/response driven.

    • Monkey D Black

      so I guess your favorite xbox or ps3 game doesn’t use AI (artificial intelligence). There are many layers of AI and before you try to correct someone else I suggest you at least know the hell what you’re talking about.

    • Anonymous

      So why is suri not AI?  Anything which can understand natural language is AI… what’s your definition if AI?

    • GreyWolf

      Siri is voice recognition linked to Wolfram Alpha. It’s just a shell.

      Also, something does not have to pass the Turing test to be considered AI.

    • Guest

      Interesting. Didn’t know that. Explains a lot. Including some of the same answers.

  • Anonymous

    Does the droid have anything like Siri?

    • Andrew Collins

      Android has a good app called Vlingo. Siri’s a bit better but from the looks of that video Vlingo is much better than TellMe.

    • Guest

      You really need to be more careful in your comparisons. TellMe is many things. A front end, a back end, and an IVR solution. Siri is a front end only, using Nuance as a back end. Vlingo is a front end and a back end. They may also have an IVR solution, but I’m not 100% on that.

  • techau

    While there’s a million commands you could test, I chose the ones I use daily.

    • Borut Bezjak

      Bullshit :)
      You daily unlock your phone and say “what is the weather in skrillex” and wait for results? I daily unlock my phone and glimpse at the weather info.
      you daily add stuff to your calendar and answer all the questions? i type it in. I’m not sure of this but how do you add the meeting “name”, date, time, lasting time, location, who is gonna be at the meeting etc using voice?

      obviously MS voice recognition sucks for AU, but that may be because you talk like you have an 8ball in your mouth. It understands me perfectly and i’m from EU.

    • Mark

      Um, no. You chose the ones that would make Siri look the best and TellMe the worst. And you succeeded.

    • Asharrop

      Of course, you use an iPhone. If we do the commands I use daily it’s going to be a much different video…

      Open “Penguin.”

      See what I mean? Love that game btw…

    • GreyWolf

      Try it again with what you’ve learned from the comments on this article. Use what’s in common with both implementations instead of what you know doesn’t work on one or the other. :/

  • techau

    Also if there are commands you’d like me to test, I’m happy to do so, just leave a comment on my site.

    • Aaron Stark

      “Open” any app.

  • Andrew Seymour

    Would be really good to see this new TellMe implemented, does look amazing. I haven’t managed to get my phone to re-produce the word “coat” – It definitely has issues with my northern accent. Better examples he could have used are, “taxi” – this works really well, “movie theatres” and so on. He said things that he knew were specific to iPhone – little bit flawed if you ask me especially for someone that seems to have a lot of Microsoft products in this space behined him.

  • Anonymous

    Tellme has pretty good functionality off the bat it isn’t no Siri but atleast its there WP users aren’t left hanging. Tellme needs voice recognition ;)

  • Guest

    I have used both systems too and the siri system is just better accept it…thats not to say that MS wont do it better in the future which i am hoping because i love the mango interface and cant wait for more applications to make use of the live tile concept.
    However for me personally it was the situation now that made me put the simcard in the iphone…
    ..I’ll be back next year (maybe sooner HD7 is still there)
    One excellent aspect of the windows phone that doesnt get any airplay is the picture search function of bing it reads tags superfast and it a pleasure to use maybe the marketing team could focus on that to increase sales before the next big software update

    • Guest

      Nah. MS’s marketing team doesn’t like to focus on anything where WP actually excels. They don’t even like to focus on the OS itself. Much better to make weird quirky ad so that Crispin can win an advertising industry award rather than actually sell product.

  • Guest2009

    What a dumb f*ck is that guy. Let me speak Dutch against Siri and I will bet it will not understand me. Why not? Because it’s not DESIGNED to do that. WP7 tellme is command driven, you have to say “call” or “search” (for example) first before doing something.

  • Guest

    Okay, I know how Apple managed to advance so quickly; they bought Siri which leverage SRI and several decades of DARPA work. But how did Google manage to catch up to MS in speech and maybe even surpass them? I know they bought GrandCentral for Voice. But where did their Voice Action come from? Or was it all developed internally? Anybody know?

    • GreyWolf

      “But how did Google manage to catch up to MS in speech and maybe even surpass them?”

      The stole it like everything else.

    • Guest

      I was actually looking for a serious answer. Do you know where it came from?

  • JimmyFal

    Tom, as a special service to all Winfanboys, I suggest you create your own comparison video, and make it so over the top, lean in WP7′s favor that it proves the point that one can sway the speech demonstrations anyway they wish. If I owned an IPhone I would make that video myself. But that ain’t gonna happen. Hmm, maybe I can borrow one.But seriously, when creating a platform from the ground up, you can’t possibly drop every cool feature you would like into the OS, all at once. As much as I am growing tired of giving MS a break, I realize that they have been in the speech game a long time, and that the plans were, and are always to make it better and more natural. I mean there are speech features that existed in 6.5 that I still can’t do in WP7. Not by design, but because it’s not ready, I guess.

    All you have to do is look at what Kinect is already doing to realize what is coming, and the quality of what is coming. I don’t give a crap about bragging who was first, I just want it to work. We aren’t here to sway the IPHONE userbase, we need to grab the newbies. By the way that Samsung commercial made my holidays.

    • Mark

      I think Siri has jumped ahead here, but I’d really like to see that video too. At the very least it would be a great way to illustrate how biased the media is these days and how quickly they accept anything that plays to the “Apple is the innovator and MS the laggard” meme, without even bothering to further investigate and provide balance. I’ve read one article in Forbes today, for example, that said MS did nothing with TellMe’s technology after buying them in 2007. That’s clearly bull, but there is was in the article as if it were fact.

    • Tom W

      Heh, I’m not a fanboy though so I wouldn’t make a video like that. Siri is better than Windows Phone voice recognition there’s no comparison there. The point here is that Windows Phone does have some similar features but they are command driven.

    • JimmyFal

      Let me clear that up, I’M the fanboy.

      I would put the recognition on par with SIRI all day long. I have been speaking common questions in to Bing for over a year now. Asking questions like wheres the cheapest gas? Speaking the names of stores and it comes up with maps. The hands free texting is as good or better for texting, but it can’t YET dictate emails. I would have to agree that SIRI may have leapfrogged MS, on the natural UI, but couldn’t they have used Steves voice or something, just to make the cattle call complete? It’s always about leapfrogging. I’m just glad MS leapfrogged them on UI.

      Best is yet to come, particularly from Samsungs Advertising Department!

    • Borut Bezjak

      I can’t believe the stupidity you people show when you try to say that siri isn’t command driven. It’s not commands, it’s magic!
      I am absolutely astounded:)

  • EduardoMLD

    looks awesome! :D

  • Anonymous

    bottom line, siri is better.

  • Anonymous

    Don’t get me wrong I am a MS fan too. But I don’t want to be blindsided fan. I want to criticize on some aspects that I think not right and that doesn’t have to agree with what the other fan may think and percieve. Most of the time I am even called troll, fandroid, iphone fan for just doing my way. The same goes here. As a fan, I know what I expect from the product from MS, if something is good about it, praise the effort and give credit but if something is lacking, immature and sometimes ignored by MS, you have to give criticize, and the criticism doesn’t have to be positive all the time. A negative criticism means what it should and could have been and where it is heading. Also, I hate the MS culture and its approach. When somebody bashes the cometitor in this way, it would just increase the hatred to MS, which has been the case with MS although I has offered many genuine services and product, still a majority of consumers consider MS as anti-competitive and evil simply because of its way of handling the corporate business. So, rather than making false or misguiding claim and denial, they could have used a different approach to deal with Siri wchich would not have caused a laughing roar and inevitable negative criticism. There is never wrong appreciating the competitor, but if you can’t do that at least try to live up with the promise you make. Over promise and under performance is never right.

    • JimmyFal

      “”still a majority of consumers consider MS as anti-competitive and evil simply because of its way of handling the corporate business”"

      I think anti-competitive behaviour would have been to try to stop Android, instead of making them pay a royalty for “lifting” technology. The shoe seems to be on the other foot at the moment with Apple trying to put a stop to Samsungs tablets. Thus the Samsung commercials, which will only stir the pot up even more. All in good fun and gigantic corporate dollars i suppose.

    • Guest

      Translation: please overlook the the fact that 99.9% of my comment activity is negative. I’m really a positive guy and MS fan. LOL

    • Pantou Ekang

      Agree boy…..

      “Over promise and under performance is never right.”

  • Kaiush

    Cool concept video…how about MS shows actual software running on actual hardware instead?

    • Guest

      How about you go back to writing love letters about how inspired you are by the Mac, okay shill?

    • Guest

      You mean like they did for the last year when Apple had nothing?

    • Anonymous

      And now Apple has something and MS is still stuck with the shabby tellme?

    • Guest

      Why would you think that TellMe isn’t also working on their next thing? And there’s nothing shabby about TellMe. For years it has been considered among the best in the industry at what it does. Is Siri ahead now? Yes. Will they stay there for long? We’ll see.

    • GreyWolf

      You say this as if Siri was created by Apple and not bought. Also note it uses other companies’ technology that APPLE DOES NOT OWN.

    • Anonymous

      Apple has had Voice Control on the iPhone a lot longer than Microsoft has had WP7, never mind Tell Me.  Please play again.

    • Guest

      Wow, all the regular Apple shills are showing up for this article.

      We’re talking about direct. And if you want to talk non-direct, then voice control was available for Windows Mobile before there even was an iPhone.

  • Anonymous

    Please someone do a side by side of sitting in the car and receiving a text message through bluetooth, having it read out to you and replying.

    As far as I am aware Siri is only reactive, i.e. it will only respond to you. I don’t think it can do what I have asked above.

    I think Siri is cool, but it needs to be incorporated into more things within the OS, same as TellMe to be honest.

    • Anonymous

      I have no doubt that Apple will update Siri and update it soon.  By spring I bet is way connected to way more apps on the phone.  It will be on the next iPad, and probably on a Mac at some point.

    • Anonymous

      It doubt it could connect from within other apps unless Apple release an API for apps to use – other than the ‘start xyz’ or ‘open xyz’ that TellMe does now – plus the apps would need to be written to utilise it *unless* for example Apple rewrite how every textbox in every app worked, i.e. anywhere you could enter a large block of text you had the option to dictate it.

      I was just wondering if it will be able to read incoming messages in a hands free scenario, e.g. jogging/exercising or in the car, i.e. Siri could be triggered by incoming events, rather than reacting only to holding the middle button on the phone. I mean in a scenario where you don’t have to activate Siri, then say “read messages”. I saw part of a video where windows phone can do this, (at about 3:40)

      I don’t doubt Siri will end up on the iPad or mac, it would be mad if it didn’t.

    • Guest

      Learn to read, jackass. His question was about right now, not next year. The same way your uninformed criticisms about TellMe are. Both will improve over time.

  • Anonymous

    Wp7 is great but tellme sucks! Call me when they get Tellme to be on Siri’s level

  • Chris Leadley

    Siri is definitely has the advantage at the moment because it recognises more natural speech patterns although TellMe  will inevitably catch up. That said the only time I really use tellme is when I’m driving, it would still seem a bit odd to talk to your phone whenever other people are there.

  • Raman

    hey,i hav written an article on microsoft future phone check it out

  • Ef Jay

    We dont even have a way to do a simple thing as backup our text messages, yet we are supposed to get excited about some future tech we may never see, much like My Phone 2.0. Just save it, siri is better, it looks even worse trying to tell people that at some future point in the future Tellme would have caught up. Well by then siri would have got even better, so will there be another MS concept video they will trot out to show how they arent really behind, but we should just wait?

  • Silva

    Seriously, its just me that think that a system that requires a connection to a server to answare voice commands sucks? I don’t see anybody criticizing this downside of the siri

  • Anonymous

    You guys are saying Tellme isn’t getting any better ni the future well it is its going to be used on WP, Xbox and Windows platforms. During the 1 year of dev time on the WP7 platform do you really think they can push out a Siri like based application when they have to focus on the main phone functionality first. They cant have Telle me do specific functions which arent on the phone yet. Believe me Tellme is coming and its going to duke it out with Siri.

    People forget the fact that WP is only 1 year old MS needs to add the basic phone functionalities first to make the platform a great social experience other applications will be added later.

    Atleast Microsoft has something I can atleast say Text John and say something and send or Read message while driving thats good enough for me. Would I like Siri functions sure why not but will I go crazy over it no. Like I said atleast WP has something to offer.

    Maybe the guys point (who said Siri wasn’t great) is that he doesn’t need all of Siris functions and Tellme does the things he would use Siri for maybe thats why hes not impressed.

    Just my 2 cents but this video is complete rubbish it would be nice to a tech reiver site to review Tellme with its positive and negatives

    • Thomas Jennerwein

      Apple bought siri…..

  • fukalot

    different language settings on iphone and wp7.

    switch wp7 to au english.

  • Anonymous

    Doesn’t necessarily they both have to be same! They are two different products with two different perspectives!

  • Seth_p

    First off, this dude in the video is an anal idiot - you can’t make a comparsion on two different systems that take different inputs and expecting the same output. 

    Secondly, it bothers me that Microsoft seems to enjoy going at a slow pace w/ some products. Just because they didn’t have any real competitor in the market at the time, they go stagnent. Microsoft has been working on voice for a long time, way before 2007 when Siri was founded and later aquired by Apple. The future of TellMe video is what we should be seeing in action… not a promotional of what may or may not come letting their competitors get ahead [again].

    When Microsoft decides to play catch-up with a more conversational speech algorithm, I’ll be hearing from fanboys that “Apple had it first”… or “Apple is a real innovator”… crap like that when Microsoft has been doing this longer

    *end of frustration*

    • Anonymous

      Why should the guy in the video expect the same outcome? The Microsoft employee that caused the video comparison did say Microsoft had Siri before Apple. Why can’t Microsoft’s program accomplish tasks properly when it’s supposed to be ahead of Apple’s Siri?

    • Seth_p

      If you compare two classes you conclude a result. In his video he’s trying to disprove TellMe by throwing commands TellMe doesn’t understand. Did he not understand the difference between the two systems or can he not read the “hints” when pressing down Windows key. To disprove, you’re trying to argue “do they produce the same result?”

      That’s like me putting into my calculator A + B and expect 3 when I put 1 + 2 in another calculator without the definition of A and B. Why doesn’t the guy try using all the TellMe commands on Siri and see if that works? As far as your definition of “accomplish tasks properly” is far from well-formed. What’s proper? Proper would be assumed that you understand how to use TellMe.


    • Rm

      You don’t need to know how to use Siri to use it. However for TellMe you need to know exactly before hand how to ask it something, that is the beauty of Siri and why Microsoft can’t say it “already has Siri”.

    • Seth_p

      @19b32cfb11bdc972c1d0c032c53322d3:disqus Yep, I agree. The conversational model is natural opposed to a command-driven approach. Nonetheless, I’m sure Microsoft will pickup the pieces… maybe even do a better job. Who knows! :P

    • Mmason617

      @RM I can say Siri is very entertaining however it is not as beautiful as you say. We are really comparing apple and oranges here. The only thing that they do similar is that they both take commands. However one is just naturally which can at times be more user friendly. Having an iPhone 4S there have been times where Siri doesn’t understand what I am asking her or just completely goofing up what I asked. In the end Siri is a gimmick. If we were to compare apples to apples. Both can take commands and accomplish them. However, this is one situation where Microsoft came out with the product first and Apple came out and made the gimmick look better.

    • Guest


      TellMe shows you the commands which are applicable. No need to know them beforehand. And MS didn’t say it “already has Siri”, so don’t know why you’re claiming they did. Well, actually I do know: you’re a troll.

    • Robert Wade

      He did NOT say the Microsoft had Siri before Apple.  He said they had VOICE interaction before Apple.  Siri and TellMe are two different systems.  TellMe accomplishes EXACTLY what it was IMPLEMENTED to do.  Siri accomplishes EXACTLY what it was IMPLEMENTED to do.  The issue is that each approaches the CONCEPT of voice interaction from very different perspectives.  The TellMe vs Siri video is a false comparison.  The command interface between the two is dramatically different and for a fair comparison–if there even is such a thing–should have been to give EACH the same KIND of command in the structure that it’s designed for and see how each accomplishes it.  And a list of the types of things you can do on each should have been presented, (e.g., you can set appointments with Siri but not TellMe, but you can run apps from TellMe and not Siri).

  • Moattarwork

    Its a shame for microsoft to deliver everything in a worst case. You can see that was happend for microsoft products in the past, like tablet concept, windows phone. Microsoft guys are really fantastic to deliver a brilient idea as trash. They are really addicted to copy other’s ideas.
    I don’t know when it can be stopped.

    • Anonymous

      No, not really. Metro is a really different as an OS, both on the phone and Windows 8. People like to say the live tiles are messy but in all honesty they are simply removing what you don’t need, and replacing it with information, e.g. instead of clicking the weather icon, you can see the weather on the tile. I am planning to replace my iPhone with a Lumia when they get released here, purely on the basis of reviews, videos etc. I have seen recently.

      To get back to the topic at hand, voice input doesn’t sway me one way or the other in making this decision – I’d rather have an actual phone signal, updates that work and just something new.

      I showed my wife this video and she basically replied “who the fuck cares, I’m not talking to my phone”. She’s a keeper!

  • Eingoluq

    Siri is a bit more awesome and advanced right now, but will be hampered by the limitations of iOS. If one was to look at what Microsoft has done with Windows 8 and the contract/charms system, they will be able to appreciate the power that natural voice could have on it.
    I’m not saying Siri is not powerful, what I am saying is that apps need to start talking to each other in iOS the way they do in Windows 8 for Siri to be more useful.

    The video is also done horribly, giving natural commands to a system that does not support it. Such a tool he is.

    In any-case, I’m looking forward for a kinect update with such.

  • Stephen Floyd

    The guy in the video is obviously being srcastic(or at least I hope), but the commenters on the video show how truely moronic people are. I mean he’s OBVIOUSLY not using the Tellme the way its suppose to be used. Siri is obviously better, I’m not denying that, but the tellme service obviously works in a completely different way. Just because the apple product works one way, doesn’t mean everything else is crap. This is why I really hate all you iSheep out there. It’s sad, just sad.

    • Jryle88

      In other words — “You are speaking it wrong”. I bet you were also one who ridiculed those iSheep’s “you’re holding it wrong” arguments? 

    • Guest

      Not what he said at all. Why is it that none of you shills with your disposable aliases can read?

  • Wizard

    LOL, I dont have an iPhone with Siri, otherwise, I would have done the comparison with WP understandable commands and would say that iPhone is an expensive brick. iPhone cannot understands commands like Start Winrumors, Howzzatt!! WP can start any 3rd party App with voice command.

  • Simon Hibbs

    The iPhone has had voice control from its launch in 2007, which is basically what tellme is.

    Siri ivery different. It’s powered by a natural language parsing and task interpretation engine based on a military AI research project. Siri was founded by engineers from that project. Microsoft are years behind on this. Apple’s acquisition of Siri has left them face down in the dust wrt voice controll.

    Sorry, but it’s humiliating how badly wrong footed they’ve been right since the iPhones launch, and desperate FUD like this just makes them look worse.

  • Ex-Alliant

    Craig Mundie’s one of the least competent person I have ever met.  They should get rid of him and hire some one who actually has a clue.  He’s never done anything wothwhile for microsoft other than loose money - look at all the money they spent on set top boxes, webtv, and other broadcast related products when he was a product manager.  Now all he can due is spread FUD.  His only claim to fame is running two companies into the ground.

    • Guest

      Fired you, huh?

    • Test1ngi23


  • Anonymous

    For the record, if you look at the concept video that MS released about the future of Tellme, it is clear that the SCOPE of what MS is attempting is much grander than Siri.  I’m assuming that they want to release it when you can use it seemlessly throughout their ecosystem with a W8 Tablet, Kinect (with or without the 360 …?) and WP (like WP8). 

    Honestly, the concept in that video is quite amazing if you think about it.  And noone is in a better position to pull it off than MS.  So while Siri is a released beta and is impressive, the future of Tellme is even more impressive and, honestly, lifestyle altering.  Assuming they can deliver on it …

  • teusje

    I don’t understand why thy all go to wild in siri or tell me. It’s not that i’m going to shout in a meeting to my phone, or at my desk.I just grab my phone and type something in so that other persons near me will not understand it.
    The same with FFC, i’ve not seen a single person using it actually (only when they were testing the feature but they don’t use it.)

  • Pantou Ekang

    When you want to help your friend, you must tell him the truth.
    The difference between siri and  tellme is the that siri can analyze and understand the speech of humans. When I tell Siri ”I love you” … Siri replied: ”Ohhh !”… she understand the meaning of “I  love you ” and dont automatically search. Siri has artificial intelligence.(AI)

    The video demonstration shows that Microsoft wants Tellme to be  ”intelligent”… but Microsoft hasnt yet been able to do so and Microsoft  is late.

    Here is the problem, Microsoft is extremely slow in implementing new technologies.But the competition is fast and Microsoft is not going to catch up on this (FULL STOP)…

    • Andrew Stockdale

      That’s nowhere near AI. It’s natural language processing combined with a preprogrammed response to a query. You’ll find that Siri starts to repeat herself. A lot.

  • Anonymous

    Why would I use a crappy Windoze phone when I can have the best of the best with the iPhone 4S?

    • Aaron Stark

      Let me fix your comment for you.

      Why would I use cRapple iJunk 4S when I could use Windows Phone and actually be productive in life.

  • Guest#99

    I have used Siri and Tellme (i have WP7, my brother and I compared it with his iPHone 4s), and though Siri is better (I LOVE the appontment making feature)…you can’t honestly argue that “text bob” or “call bob’s cell” is some kind of unintuitive secrect for the innitiated.  Those are natural and intuitive ways of speaking to your phone…should you say ‘please’ or ‘get my friend bob, the guy who’s cool, on the line with me?”

    Plus Siri is inferior to Tellme in one key area: you cannot tell Siri to call on speakerphone.  Tellme perfectly understands “call bob on speaker” or “call bob mobile on speakerphone”.  That is pretty useful.  Also, though less useful, Siri can’t open apps.  My brother and I tried different commands, and Tellme plus Bing did almost everything just as well. 

  • skc

    So is nobody going to point out that the “future” TellMe demonstration is so obviously fake as to be laughable?

    I mean the TellMe voice speaks so naturally, gets the proper intonation and speech perfect.


  • Romesh0001

    I always thought Windows 7 phones used a mobile version of there windows voice engine microsoft speech from Windows.