Future of Microsoft TellMe on Windows Phone

So we've had SIRI announced with the iPhone 4S (opens in new tab), which appeared to be 'innovative' and special in every way, but has everyone forgotten about (opens in new tab) the speech recognition and processing on Windows Phone? The video above shows the advancement on the platform we could hope to see in the future, which matches Apple's SIRI.

Thanks Felix for the tip!

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • The origination of this video on Youtube was Aug of 2011, just saying.
  • Yeah. This about as real as the Courier. :\
  • the problem is that Microsoft pundits say that this tech is 3-5 years off.
  • Exactly. I'm sure they are working on this but reality is that many times these types of predictions don't turn out to work as smooth or as seamless as it's portraid in videos like the one obove. I am really curious to see if Siri does function the way it's shown in the Apple videos. And if so then Microsoft needs to make sure they have something comparable or better come next October.
  • Siri looks pretty damn amazing. I'd say Siri already was as nice as these fake future videos. Microsoft had better get to work.
  • :) Interesting, and something I'd probably use considering how much I use TellMe now. I want that tablet!
  • I too, would love a tablet like that ;)Xbox LIVE on the go me thinks! (More than my Windows Phone!)
  • Haven't forgotten about it but it sucks major balls in comparison to Siri.
  • You would know... right?:-D
  • Can't wait for people to say "Microsoft is copying Apple's SiRi!"...
  • Funny you should say that.What you don't seem to know, fanboy:SiRi was SiRi before Apple BOUGHT the company!:-)
  • The origin of this video was on Youtube since Aug. 9th, which shows how long this idea has been in the works. Far before Siri was announced.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iB6pWs46GY8
  • Yep! I thought I saw this on one of the Windows Blog a couple of months ago, but I maybe I saw it somewhere else :)Anyway, sadly, Apple implemented Siri in their product first and will be available to consumers of the iP4s tomorrow. Although it is still in 'beta', it's still good. I'm really hoping that Microsoft can have improved portions of the Tellme tech into WP8 - not just improved over what is currently in WP Mango, but better than what Siri will ever be capable of.
  • When an iPhone user at working was showing another iPhone user the Siri portion of the keynote, the second one said "Oh, it's like our new voice mail?"We are in the process of migrating from a traditional PBX to MS Lync with Exchange Unified messaging. Though you can get weather, it allows for more conversational request. Like "What is my next appointment".MS will get there, probably sooner than later for the voice recognition. I wonder how much they can upgrade TellMe without making changes on the phone?
  • You could ask for your next appointment in Windows Mobile 6 with voice command.
  • And ask what your damn battery level was too. Instead of looking at a silly icon or drilling down two layers of menus. One step forward, one step back. I don't get it.
  • I really hope thus ends up working as well as in the video, but I have my doubts seeing as how unpredictive voice recognition can be. However if it does end up working like this, it would be much better than Siri.
  • Difference is siri is available now, while this is just a concept. Get this on WP7 within 6 months and you can cheer, if its years out the video is pointless. Plus the fact that MS hasnt even bothered to showcase what they do have available on WP7 now and its no wonder everyone else is swooning over siri.
  • Actually, its more than just a concept. You see Siri had a big Headstart while it was a classified DARPA project. The goal from the outset was an AI that could parse human language. All Apple had to do after purchasing it was integrate it into iOS's contacts, calendar, etc. TellMe on the other hand was a cloud based speach recognition engine. After purchasing it, MS had the daunting task of creating the AI to get it to understand natural language. They've been working on it since 2007 and have some pretty good results. The trick now is integrating TellMe's huge online database of spoken phrases to hook in to the OS and maybe even sharpen it with Bing's search algorhythm (hence the recent addition of adaptive search). Hopefully we'll see some of the fruits of this labor in Kinect (and its integration in Windows 8) and the Apollo update for Windows Phone.Of course by then, people will again accuse MS of copying Apple, but those that have followed TellMe since the beginning will know the truth.
  • looks like MSFT is getting siri ous.
  • looks way better than siri.
  • Do we really need our devices to understand commands more complex than "find **** ?
  • Driving down I-5 the other day when someone on the radio was gushing over Siri on iPhone with the standard level of excitement required for any Apple product: hyper and fanboyish. The guy was using the keynote example of "Do I need an umbrella today?" as the way to get a weather report. I burst out laughing. Who talks like that? And what happens if it's going to rain, so Siri tells you yes, you need an umbrella but there is also going to be a 40 mph wind, so an umbrella is probably useless.I reached for my of course non-magical WP 7.5 Focus. I held the Windows button and said "Start Weather" and the phone opened my Weather Channel ap which showed the forecast for my hometown. As I wasn't in my hometown at the moment, I decided to try Bing. I started Bing, pushed the voice icon and said "local weather" and Bing presented the weather at the particular city on I-5 I was in at that moment. Very nice. Voice commands will get better and better. I'd like to see an non-fanboi review of Siri. My guess is that Siri and TellMe are rather comparable, with each excelling in some areas and lagging in others.
  • Ummmm where can I get that Tablet?!?!?!?!
  • I think its funny how Siri gets so many emphasis as being groundbreaking with voice control on iPhone. What people seem to forget that MSFT had voice controls, even over Bluetooth with the Voice Command software, enabling me to be able to voice control my device dating all the way back to Windows Mobile 5.0. Granted, it did have some issues but the fact that i was already doing this is not groundbreaking to me. Speech to text is cool, but it has been around, plus TellMe was already available on The WM 6.5 platform, with virtually most of these features enabled (including Speech to text). Bing app on WM integrated some of these features, and worked well over Bluetooth (which helps me when i am driving). I think this video shows it can go a step further but MSFT needs to get this out ASAP if they want any leverage over Google and Apple.
  • Is it just me or do others also hate the personal assistant paradigm for voice commands? It just seems infantile to me, I just want to say a command and get the info I want, I don't need you to address me and say hello how are you and that kind of B.S., it just strikes me as patronizing for some reason.
  • Gosh that tablet looks REALLY appealing. i know its probably some type of animation but that bezel makes the screen pop. i wonder if thats what the tablets for windows 8 would similar to.
  • Agree. If something similar to SiRi was in the OS I'd forget all the bad and still use the HD7 as my daily driver because this is just too damn convenient. Do you realize how much typing you can avoid by just telling the phone what to do? They need to integrate it into the desktop OS too, which should be even easier since they can just plug it in over Windows Update. **** I'd pay for it, and I'd pay for it as a Windows Phone Add-On from Microsoft provided it automatically set itself as the default voice control for the Home Key long press...
  • Gang, it's not that Siri is groundbreaking. It's that Siri is a much more developed IMPLEMENTATION on iOS 5 than TellMe is on WP7.5. Yes, we've been all excited about the expanded voice capability in Mango, but, having played with it now for a month, it truly does pale in comparison to what Siri seems to be capable of. The only thing that gets read back to you are text messages--not emails. Even with the "ease of access" turned on, all you can really do is "open", "call", "find" and "text" and a couple specific odds & ends. That Siri CAN respond to quite a few types of natural queries and reply to you in a way that makes sense makes WP7.5 look like a poor cousin. It doesn't really matter if most people will probably never use all that capability. I promise that users will tout that as a capability that blasts WP7.5 away. That's just the way it works.