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  • Microsoft: Our Phones Have Had Siri For a Year


    Craig Mundie of Microsoft says that the iPhone’s Siri personal assistant software isn’t new technology at all. According to him, Microsoft has had a similar system that has been available on the Windows Phone for over a year. Furthermore, he even went as far as saying that Apple marketed the feature to try and shift focus away from the iPhone 4S’s lack of new features.

    Microsoft’s Chief Research and Strategy Officer Craig Mundie in an interview last week with Forbes shared his opinion on Apple and the infamous personal assistant, Siri.He noted that the Windows Phone’s “TellMe” technology, which he claims is essentially the same thing, has been functional for over a year. During the interview he mentioned the following: "The Tellme facility's been in the Windows 7 phone for more than a year," Mundie said. "So I mean I just think people are infatuated with Apple announcing [Siri]."



    He continued to discuss that Microsoft could learn from Apple’s marketing tactics, despite feeling that the Cupertino giant had to focus on the voice technology due to the lack of new features found in the iPhone 4S. He mentioned the following regarding Apple’s marketing strategy: "In a sense, you know, many people were disappointed with [Apple's] newest phone because it wasn't a completely new thing, so the only thing they really had to hammer on was that feature," Mundie said. "Maybe we need to pick a feature and hammer on it harder."

    Google’s Vice President of Mobile, Andy Rubin also had a similar response regarding Siri. According to him: “Your phone is a tool for communicating. You shouldn’t be communicating with the phone; you should be communicating with somebody on the other side of the phone.” So both major competitors Google and Microsoft feel that Siri is not as important as people make it out to be. Their beliefs and statements have caused much commotion in the tech industry and more-so among consumers.

    As of right now, Microsoft has been dealing with a harsh transition from Windows Mobile to the current Windows Phone platform. The company is faced with many obstacles in moving from the old operating system, which targeted enterprise users, to a new consumer driven model. The company still has high hopes for the Windows Phone platform though as they seek to become a major player in the mobile market, noting the recent partnership with Nokia as a “huge” opportunity in making the platform successful.

    As a competitor, Microsoft seems to be holding their head up too high here and not admitting where they were or are still wrong. Steve Ballmer previously laughed off the original iPhone as being overpriced and not appealing to business customers because it doesn’t have a keyboard. As well all know, the iPhone went on to become the world’s most popular handset. Microsoft made a big mistake back then and seems to be making another now. Siri functionality is not existent in Windows Phone software - just because your phones and your platform can recognize a limited set of voice commands doesn’t mean it is on par with the Siri technology. The Siri co-founder, Norman Winarsky previously said Siri was going to be a “world-changing event” and he seems to be right about that.

    What’s your take on the situation? Share your thoughts below!

    Source: Forbes
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Microsoft: Our Phones Have Had Siri for A Year started by Akshay Masand View original post
    Comments 52 Comments
    1. rkisling's Avatar
      rkisling -
      Microsoft: Our Phones Have Had Siri For a Year --- Bwaaahaha .... True; and it works every bit as good as Vista ;-)
    1. steve-z17's Avatar
      steve-z17 -
      Ppl are looking into this way too much! The voice comm on Android is not as advanced as Siri, it can do some of the same things but not everything. The technology is out there, Apple isn't the only company to have it, but they're the first to really market it with the iPhone 4s, which is what they do best. Of course the 4s wasn't going to be a huge overhaul, it doesn't have to be, ppl are still going to buy it. I look at all the phones with Android coming out and none of them are huge changes. Anyway, it's not worth arguing over. Siri is sweet and technology rocks!
    1. armyguy325's Avatar
      armyguy325 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Colby21 View Post
      Sorry, but Mundie is right. Everyone was disappointed in apples lack of new features on the 4S. I mean, an upgrades this or that is great. But they did focus on something that Microsoft and android has had. And whether you can call Siri a game changer or not has yet to be seen. I mean, the thing is still in beta and it barely does anything useful. Overall, I agree with Mundie.
      What do you mean nothing useful? It does a lot of things that would be useful in the average persons everyday life. I mean, you can make appointments, make text messages, set up timers, make reminders, and a slew of other things. Now, you can do anything on an iPhone, but in a much faster way. And it may have been something that android and Microsoft already had, but the fact that Apple has built up a reputation of being the best, is why it is way more popular on the iPhone than any android or Windows phone.
    1. Raketemensch's Avatar
      Raketemensch -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jackrainz View Post
      Because all, and I repeat, all Google can do is steal other companies ideas and call it "innovation".
      This YouTube thing is pretty popular, let's start our own Google Video. Bombed? Damn.
      The Facebook thing is pretty popular. Let's start Google Plus! Bombed? Damn.
      Amazon sells everything in one place, let's create Google Catalog! Bombed? Damn.
      Internet coupons are popular, let's start Google Coupons! Bombed? Damn.
      PayPal's making a mint! Let's start Google Checkout! Bombed? Damn.
      Buzz? Meh.
      Wave? Dead.
      That AppleTV thing is pretty cool, let's start GoogleTV! Bombed? Catastrophically.
      Let's launch our own cloud-based laptops! Bombed? Crap.

      I like Google as a company, and many of these products deserved better than their short lives, but they just don't have the focus to finish things or market them. Everything they've put out has had ENORMOUS potential, but it isn't fully baked yet. Just about everything they've ever done could've used another year of focused development, and some marketing budget.

      If it wasn't for their search engine funding everything else, they would be a long series of failed startups.
    1. armadillo's Avatar
      armadillo -
      I think the following video is the best demonstration of the differences between TellMe and Siri. Really nothing much to add to this:

      TellMe vs Siri - YouTube
    1. Treeml's Avatar
      Treeml -
      Quote Originally Posted by Colby21 View Post
      Sorry, but Mundie is right. Everyone was disappointed in apples lack of new features on the 4S. I mean, an upgrades this or that is great. But they did focus on something that Microsoft and android has had. And whether you can call Siri a game changer or not has yet to be seen. I mean, the thing is still in beta and it barely does anything useful. Overall, I agree with Mundie.
      Everyone? I wasn't, I happily upgraded from the four to the 4s, the camera and speed bump were a worthy upgrade for me, and if you look at the 4s sales figures, it appears more then a few people also felt that way. As for Siri hardly doing anything useful, I couldn't disagree more, I have found it to be inherently useful, and I can only imagine just how great it will be as more featured are added, and the VR gets more accurate.

      Oh and Microsoft having Siri like functionality for a year? if this is true, it has to be the worlds worst marketing campaign. Cause no one knows about it. It seems EVERYONE knows about Siri, (weather the have an iPhone or not) all I hear from this interview is sour grapes....
    1. nutz's Avatar
      nutz -
      Well then shame on you Microsoft for not learning how to get your marketing right and instead being the little whiny finger pointer.

      Damn right Apple is overselling something that already was, to cover a lack of unbelievably left-out features. It's Apple! Difference is, many times they focus on something, it ends up getting attention, goes mainstream, it evolves.

      Plus, Google's guy opinion that people should not want to communicate WITH the phone, only THROUGH it... Seriously? This kind of statement seriously raises doubts about innovative vision capabilities.

      Quote Originally Posted by Raketemensch View Post
      If it wasn't for their search engine funding everything else, they would be a long series of failed startups.
      And thank god for that! A company seriously investing in trying to create something better.
      It takes trying. Some flop, but the ones that thrive apart from search, i.e. Maps and GMail, ARE the bomb.

      And even the not particularly successful ones do often serve a purpose of bettering the others. Take facebook, it's clearly evolving as a result of G+ innovations.
    1. metaserph's Avatar
      metaserph -
      Same thing happened with the USB interface. It took the iMac to bring this into a standard, Apple took the bull by the horns and "marketed" the technology into the infrastructure of the iWorld. The technology is important but sometimes to bring a full potential into fruition it takes a collaboration (buyout) from the big boys to mass market and integrate. Which is something Apple is very, very good at.
      Back in the days of the 601 processor there was already voice interface technology built into the OS, so it's not like voice technology is a new interest. And that is how the world of venture capital works. A small entity develops or improves on existing or new technology and then someone else brings the product into maturity and mass market. Anyways, neener neener is not a measure of success. imo.
    1. sandstorm77's Avatar
      sandstorm77 -
      Quote Originally Posted by jajuan View Post
      Google and Microsoft are falling behind because they don't understand the consumer. We buy products for the user experience not the techinology. I repeat, we buy products for the user experience not the technology. Android and Windows powered phones have amazing technology but they aren't as user friendly as Apple products.

      Yes Apple spoon feeds us new features slower then they ought to, but I don't see anyone trading in their idevices for microsoft or google products. Competitors really need to rethink their marketing strategies and figure out how to "wow" us. At this point, the only way to compete with Apple is to offer consumers way more for way less and make sure the user experience is not superior.
      I actually traded in my iPhone and ipad for android devices. I am currently using a Droid x2 for my phone and a HTC flyer. I like my android devices WU better than my apple devices.

      Oh and I have owned every version of the iPhone and iPad except iPhone 4s.
    1. Breezer23's Avatar
      Breezer23 -
      I think we can all admit that neither OS is all that innovative or original. Both OS's borrowed from one another at some point and both of them borrowed from phones before them. That's how the world works. To say one stole from the other is just ridiculous because they both have. Apple has not done much in terms of innovation. App markets had been around from carriers for years. iTunes is one of the few truly original ideas. Wasn't it Steve Jobs that said (not a direct quote), "A good artist borrows - a great artist steals."?
    1. Colby21's Avatar
      Colby21 -
      Quote Originally Posted by armyguy325 View Post
      What do you mean nothing useful? It does a lot of things that would be useful in the average persons everyday life. I mean, you can make appointments, make text messages, set up timers, make reminders, and a slew of other things. Now, you can do anything on an iPhone, but in a much faster way. And it may have been something that android and Microsoft already had, but the fact that Apple has built up a reputation of being the best, is why it is way more popular on the iPhone than any android or Windows phone.
      I said, "Barely anything useful," which means some things are, in fact, useful. However, being able to do things that i can already do without asking it to do them, is not a "game changing" feature for me... sorry, but no dice.

      Quote Originally Posted by Treeml View Post
      Everyone? I wasn't, I happily upgraded from the four to the 4s, the camera and speed bump were a worthy upgrade for me, and if you look at the 4s sales figures, it appears more then a few people also felt that way. As for Siri hardly doing anything useful, I couldn't disagree more, I have found it to be inherently useful, and I can only imagine just how great it will be as more featured are added, and the VR gets more accurate.

      Oh and Microsoft having Siri like functionality for a year? if this is true, it has to be the worlds worst marketing campaign. Cause no one knows about it. It seems EVERYONE knows about Siri, (weather the have an iPhone or not) all I hear from this interview is sour grapes....
      If you found siri to be "inherently" useful, i can only imagine how you'd react if i gave you a slinky to play with.

      Microsoft? obviously you don't own a Kinect. It can understand my commands from 15-20 ft away, much better than Siri... I had an ip4s and i wasn't impressed. Very impressed with kinect and that's only half the things their voice command module can do on their WP7.5
    1. G113764's Avatar
      G113764 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Raketemensch View Post
      This YouTube thing is pretty popular, let's start our own Google Video. Bombed? Damn.
      The Facebook thing is pretty popular. Let's start Google Plus! Bombed? Damn.
      Amazon sells everything in one place, let's create Google Catalog! Bombed? Damn.
      Internet coupons are popular, let's start Google Coupons! Bombed? Damn.
      PayPal's making a mint! Let's start Google Checkout! Bombed? Damn.
      Buzz? Meh.
      Wave? Dead.
      That AppleTV thing is pretty cool, let's start GoogleTV! Bombed? Catastrophically.
      Let's launch our own cloud-based laptops! Bombed? Crap.
      I absolutely love my GoogleTV. Changed the settings to desktop; now I can watch anything I wish on my big-screen. Including all the bootlegs I can get my hands on. The movie industry is trash, and most of the fights this year have been boring. I do not feel guilty at all for ripping them off.