Whether you’re a fan of Siri or not, few of us would claim that any non-Apple platform has anything quite like it. The Android loyal will correctly point out that their OS has had voice commands and dictation for ages, but even the most hardcore fanboy will acknowledge that it lacks the conversational AI element to truly be a Siri rival. Maybe somebody needs to tell this to Microsoft. One of their execs stated in an interview that Windows Phone has had Siri-like functionality from the beginning.
The statement was from Microsoft chief strategy and research officer Craig Mundie. When pressed on Siri, he dismissed the AI assistant as “good marketing,” claiming that telling a Windows Phone to text somebody and dictate your message is just like having Siri. He seemed especially excited about being able to “query anything through Bing just by saying the words.”
What Mundie is really saying is that Windows Phone has had a rival to Android’s voice commands and dictation. That’s a comparison worth making — aside from Windows Phone’s unfortunate requirement to search with Bing.
Siri isn’t a life-changing feature yet. This initial beta edition is much more basic than what we’ll be seeing in a couple of years. I liken it to the OS on the first iPhone in 2007. What starts as a cool — but limited — trick will soon blow up and change the way we interact with our devices. Once third-party apps are added, Siri can explode just like iOS has. It can be a world-changing feature — it just isn’t quite ready to do that yet.
But to say that Windows Phone’s Tellme voice recognition is the same as Siri makes Mundie look like a member of the Flat Earth Society. It paints a self-portrait of an organization in denial of developments that they weren’t prepared to deal with.
On the Windows Phone and Android side, you have to memorize specific commands in order to perform a limited set of functions. With Siri, you can talk in everyday language, perform a much larger (and growing) variety of tasks, and build on previous queries to create the illusion of a conversation.
Is Siri cleverly marketed by Apple? Of course. Everything is cleverly marketed by Apple. Is Siri much more advanced than Windows Phone’s Tellme? Yes — by a long shot. Will this clip eventually have a similar historical context to Steve Ballmer in 2007 saying the iPhone won’t get significant market share, or Bill Gates in 2010 dismissing the iPad because it isn’t more like a netbook? Quite possibly.
No comments yet.
Leave a comment
You must be logged in to post a comment.
Trackbacks are disabled.