Apr 04 2012

Review: Windows 8 Voice Recognition Interface Continues To Disappoint

obmqojri_thumb Review: Windows 8 Voice Recognition Interface Continues To Disappoint

When Windows 7 was release it has voice recognition in it. My initial thoughts on the voice recognition was that it was good, but the user interface was for crap. Now, when I did that review, it was on a beta version of Windows 7; it was a release candidate— I recall thinking, this is so bad, they’re going to have to update this to make it usable… but when Windows 7 was released officially, Microsoft had done absolutely nothing to it to improve the GUI.

I have always said that the voice recognition of Microsoft was good, but the GUI is the biggest problem with it. It’s like trying climb a range of boulders with a skateboard; it’s clumsy at best.

So, when I downloaded the RC version of Windows 8, one of the first things I wanted to see was the GUI of the voice recognition. And what a disappointment it is. Microsoft has done NOTHING to it to make it more user friendly.

But I need to explain…

Microsoft’s voice recognition isn’t compatible in all applications, but as long as you are using their voice recognition with their applications, yeah, you’re okay, but outside that— your screwed. The caveat to that is if the application is aware and it’s using the voice recognition schema that Microsoft requires.

And while I understand the concept that while voice recognition should or could be something where an user can completely control their PC with it; that’s not my concept. I don’t want my PC to do everything via voice— and truthfully, it’s just not possible. So I’d like to focus on the voice recognition and usability of the function in my applications, the ones I’d like to use it in; and this is where Microsoft continues to fail. I need it to work in everything, not just Microsoft products and not just the applications with this little piece in it.

3akvt1vc_thumb Review: Windows 8 Voice Recognition Interface Continues To Disappoint

The Microsoft boys have this ability to make it work like that, but they chose not to; they say no, make it work the way I’d like it to work— that model doesn’t work, and it’s not going to work for a long time. And it’s funny, because there’s some people that are going to argue that it’s not Microsoft’s fault that their voice recognition doesn’t work in the specific applications; it’s the authors fault for not putting this piece in their software.

Bah, crap and balderdash! I call BS on that one because other voice recognition applications like Nuance Dragon NaturallySpeaking does this without blinking. And I only mention Dragon NaturallySpeaking because they’ve got the right idea on user interfaces for voice recognition.

Voice recognition should work, when you want it to work— that’s it… that’s all there is to it. Where Microsoft if fighting the rest of the world on how they think voice recognition should work and how it should be integrated with the operating system; the true answer is, it should work everywhere.

With the distribution of Windows 8 RC; two things— I’ve got a strong aversion towards the Metro GUI; I believe it’s obtuse beyond anything Microsoft could’ve offered. I’m sure it’s okay for a tablet PC, but not for the desktop. The second, the GUI for the voice recognition on the RC version, it should have offered a direct link to the Microsoft voice recognition data center; to use the same voice recognition as the Windows Mobile 7 phones [if they wanted to standardize across the board].

Again, the recognition of the Microsoft engine has never been in question; it’s a pretty good engine— not as good as Dragon NaturallySpeaking, but good. But to strike a contrast, Dragon NaturallySpeaking is a newly paved road for voice recognition while Microsoft is still traveling the ‘Oregon Trail’ with theirs.


Thank you,
Larry Henry Jr.

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  • I certainly agree with you that the voice recognition of Microsoft is good in terms of capability and features, but I guess the major mistake that MS people kept on doing is not coming up with a user-friendly interface.

    – Blake

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  • Actually, I don't think Microsoft has the best GUI for voice recognition and I wouldn't buy the next version of Windows because, In my opinion…, it's going to be a 'cluster' of crap.
    Thanks for your comments…


    • tracyann

      Hi Larry! Thanks for taking your time reply in my comment. I must say that we have different point of view in the new software Microsoft released.
      My recent post tactical assault gear

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  • I have to disagree with you on some aspects of this article. I am a completely disabled person, and when it comes to controlling a computer, Dragon Naturallyspeaking just doesn’t cut it. Especially when it comes to Windows 8; Naturallyspeaking simply doesn’t work well at all with Windows 8, specifically the tile portion. While it has a lot going for it in the accuracy department, it loses out big time to Windows Speech Recognition when it comes to practically everything else.

    • Thanks for your comments…

      And that’s fine; you’re welcome to disagree. But where we differ is the recognition— and that’s the basis of the article. The recognition of Microsoft has been consistently horrible. I have tried it several times over the years. As it turns out, it’s impossible for me to use. If the program can’t recognize what I’m saying accurately, it’s no use. Dragon NaturallySpeaking is impressive and Google’s voice recognition is making massive steps on improvement, but not for system control.

      I appreciate it…


      • Thanks for writing back to me. I appreciate your efforts in bringing speech recognition, no matter which interface you prefer, to the limelight. Adaptive technologies don’t always get a lot of press. Anyway, I don’t know that I would use the term “horrible” to describe Windows Speech Recognition; granted, it is nowhere near as accurate as Dragon Naturallyspeaking, but it does well enough for me (along with its near perfect desktop control abilities) that I keep using it over Dragon. Even when I was using Windows 7, I couldn’t get the same kind of desktop control that was available in WSR. Along with the macro capabilities that you can get with the inexpensive WSR toolkit, windows recognition becomes even more powerful, giving you a lot of functions that you have to pay $600 for to get from Dragon. To each his own, I suppose. Thanks again for an informative article.

        • As you suggested, I do hope that Microsoft will get off its behind and start making some major improvements. That is definitely something we can agree upon.

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