Microsoft Windows Vista demo goes bad

“It seems like Microsoft’s operating system presentations have a tendency to go awry. In a live product demonstration for a large group of Wall Street analysts, the company decided to show off Windows Vista’s speech recognition capabilities. As it turns out, the presentation, known as the Financial Analyst Meeting, was much more of a comedy rather than a professional demo,” Matt Mondok reports for Ars Technica.

Mondok reports, “It shows the presenter struggling to get Vista’s speech recognition software to cooperate. At one point, the presenter (Shanen Boettcher) said, ‘select all,’ and the software showed its violent side, writing ‘so double the killer delete select all.'”

Full article here.

Microsoft Vista Speech Demo Goes Bad:

Direct link to video via YouTube:

[UPDATE: 7/29: 7:00pm EDT: Updated YouTube video links.]


  1. That was really funny…

    Ambient noise? You mean like from all the other people trying to use Windows Vista voice recognition in all the cubes around your cube. Initial bad press about “handwriting” recognition doomed the Newton…

    NOTE TO MICROSOFT: Before trying something in a demo, do a rehearsal (with some “ambient noise”) to make sure it works.

  2. MS really needs to stop demoing vaporware. You know it’s bad when they can’t even get the smoke-and-mirrors right.

    Pretty hilarious that MS blew it in front of so many vipers er Wall Street analysts. If that’s all the better MS can prepare for such an important demo, yikes.

    This should definitely have an effect on MS’s stock rating & price.

  3. How many people work in environments WITHOUT ambient noise? Even in my home, there are phones ringing, kids running around outside, leaf blowers…

    Warning label: “To use this feature, we recommend the Cone of Silence. To order, contact CONTROL…”

    MW=certain; I’m certain that Vista’s going to be buggier than a bait store…

  4. You mean like from all the other people trying to use Windows Vista voice recognition in all the cubes around your cube.

    You know, WTF is the point of using speech recognition for simple functions like Select All? Isn’t hitting Command-A a lot faster and easier?

    OK there’s a valid point of it being useful for visually-impaired users. But why would you need to demo that to Wall Street?

    MS can call me back when they have foolproof dictation-quality speech recognition. FWIW I’m not holding my breath.

  5. MDN should display microsoft’s stock ticker right below apple’s. it’d be good for a laugh.

    anyhow, yeah, it seems almost all of their presentations have some kind of more-than-minor hiccup.

    and when apple’s demos go awry, they at least recover gracefully. anyone remember early last year? “that’s why we have a backup!” it made me smile, because it was an obvious jab at MS.

    you almost have to wonder if they did that on purpose… ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

    MW is brought. as in “Vista – from the people who brought you Windows ME”

  6. Years ago I remember Microsoft representatives having a go at Apple’s Newton. Hmm, what’s that saying: “What goes around comes around”. Except in the case of the Newton it was ground-breaking technology whereas speech recognition has been around for several years. I really don’t want to sound arrogant but given Redmond’s recent track record all I can say is that it’s just so Microsoft.

  7. Actually, in Microsoft’s defense, the stage is a lousy place to do speech recognition demos. Apple does them at WWDC and the people on the stage do tend to have problems.

    From what I understand, part of the reason is that the microphone picks up the words from the speaker and feeds it back into the microphone. Obviously not loud enough to create a feedback loop but enough to confuse the recognition system.

    By the way, did anyone else notice how much better Microsoft’s speech recognition got after that patent-cross-license thing back in 1997?

  8. tuogh concept i know but vista DOES rock, its just beta. its a year away from being done.

    buy a mac if u are too impatience to wait for the REAL DEAL!

    Well said b b b b beta. That’s why we love our customers: they perfectly match our customer profile target.

    Wet the REAR DEAL will be released everyone will double select delete all backstep everyone will see wet a rear OS is made of.

    This massage is for Windoze users only, Mac users are not receptionists

    dictated on Voiss reeco ignition of Visthat beta

  9. I don’t understand – why do you need to ‘speak’ grammar? So I have to say ‘comma’ or ‘hyphen’ every time I want to insert some structure into my Auntie’s (sorry, Mum’s) letter?

    Micro$oft – utter garbage.

  10. System Preferences > Speech > Speech Recognition > Speakable Items > On

    Apple has had a functional system-wide VR for as long as I can remember. They never advertise it, but it’s pretty effective. My daughter loves when I talk to the computer and it does what I say.

    “Computer, tell me a joke.”

    Microsoft is so far behind, it’s pathetic.

  11. Dear Aunt Gates,

    Thank you so much potatoes for imbecile demonstrate in save as through the file. We are having set color font text this summer. New blank document. The weather is format paragraph select all and every day insert clip art down by the creek. My dad said Steve toolbar Ballmer macro randbetween function monkey but I don’t save as italics. So when I shortcut thesaurus shortcut, keys paste mom said help set the tables and borders. Then dad’s new car spellcheck Pontiac but not where do you want to columns envelopes flat tire. Tutorial? Find punctuation and replace Windows Vista shut down.

    List commands,


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