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.
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