Microsoft’s Chief Research and Strategy Officer, Craig Mundie, sat down for an interview with Forbes. On the topic of Apple’s Siri, he touted the “TellMe” feature.
“The Tellme facility’s been in the Windows 7 phone for more than a year,” Mundie said. “So I mean I just think people are infatuated with Apple announcing [Siri].”
Microsoft’s not the only one that has had advanced voice capabilities; Android has also had voice recognition tied into the OS, and the upcoming Ice Cream Sandwich software release has even more capability. Mundie went on to say that the reason that Apple “hammered on” the feature was to shift focus away from the fact that iPhone 4S didn’t have many new features to distinguish it.
On the other hand, he praised Apple’s ability to market the device. He even said that Microsoft could learn something from their approach.
Windows Phone 7 has been around for quite some time now, and Microsoft still doesn’t have a strong presence in the mobile market. They’ve had had time changing from the old Windows Mobile 6 model that was aimed at Enterprise users to a new consumer-targeted platform. Mundie was optimistic for Microsoft, however, especially considering their partnership with Nokia.
Matthew Miller of ZDNet compared Apple’s Siri with Google Voice Action on Android, Microsoft’s TellMe in Windows Phone 7 and the cross-platform Vlingo application. He concluded:
Google Voice Actions, Windows Phone 7, and Vlingo are all very similar and the only real big functional advantage they have over Siri is the ability to launch applications. Other than that, Siri beats all the others with the conversational nature of the utility that helps refine actions and make your life easier.
He went on to add:
People who have not tried Siri really cannot understand the power and capability of it. [..]
[..] I don’t know about you, but the ability of Siri to continue the conversation and understand my INTENTis simply amazing and revolutionary. I honestly think we are just starting to see the beginning of a new smartphone user paradigm and unlike many people who have said the novelty of Siri will wear off I think people will start using it more and more and then not be able to use phones that don’t provide such assistance.
Mundie’s ignorant comment suggests he has not used Siri.