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Windows Phone 7 Speech Recognition Hits and Misses

With Google unveiling additional, beefed up “Voice Actions” today Microsoft needed to step up to the plate during its Backstage video chat.  Sadly it didn’t end up that way and the gap between what you can do through Google Voice Actions and Windows Phone 7 voice recognition is a huge one.  We kept hearing the term 7.0 everything the host had to admit a missing feature.  I know this means that some voice features will be added through updates but I don’t think that will be anytime soon (more on that below).

All in all I fully expect that i won’t be tuning into any more Windows Phone 7 backstage chats.  The information is nothing we don’t already know and it just ends up a big ole’ bag of disappointment.  Anywho, here is brief look into what i took away from the chat.


  • Can use speech while phone is locked (have to enable feature in settings)
  • Will open third party apps


  • No playing playlist
  • No Zune control
  • No translations
  • Voice/Speech Recognition cannot be independently updated of the OS.  It has to come via a firmware update.  This means that only voice updates will come with a major OS update. Ugh!!

So no hands free control of Zune once you’re in the app (you can open Zune by voice), no smart launching of playlists and no translation with speech recognition.  At least third party apps can be opened via voice and hopefully Microsoft has taken heed that as they go after Google Maps with Bing Maps that Google is firing shots of their own.  Step your game up Microsoft, the ball is now firmly in your court.