Windows Phone 7 Voice and Siri

I watched this very short interview with Craig Mundie for Forbes:

Been There, Done That

And it cracked me up! The second part of the interview he says that everybody is overhyping Apple’s Siri, because Microsoft (and, if one should follow his line of thought, Google) has had voice commands on the phone for over a year now. The part that he doesn’t understand is that there is a fundamental difference between what Windows Phone Voice does and what Siri does:

Windows Phone provides you with voice shortcuts to doing things. You can say “Call …” and it will make a call. “Search …” and it will use Bing to search. So, if you know the right phrases, you will get exactly what you ask for.

Siri, on the other hand, tries to take this voice recognition to a “conversation” level. Yes, you can do things like “Call 425-555-1000” and it will also call that number. However, it can do things like “Call my wife” and the first time you do that it will ask you to tell the name of your wife. After that it will know and will call that number all the time.

Does that sound the same? Well, now for a different example: I can ask Siri: “Will it rain today?” and it will reply with things like: “There is no rain on today’s forecast” and show me the forecast. Again, why does Microsoft think that they have a similar product already? It’s amazing and very sad how blind some companies can be from time to time.

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