Nervous Google and Microsoft bad-mouth Apple’s revolutionary Siri

“Google’s head of Android, Andy Rubin, at the AllThingsD conference… took a dig at Apple’s Siri interface: ‘I don’t believe your phone should be an assistant…Your phone is a tool for communicating,’ he opined, ‘You shouldn’t be communicating with the phone; you should be communicating with somebody on the other side of the phone,'” Kit Eaton reports for Fast Company. “Microsoft’s Windows Phone president, Andy Lee, also leveled criticisms at Siri at AllThingsD. The type of personal assistant interaction delivered by Siri, Lee said, ‘isn’t super useful.'”

Eaton reports,” Such Siri disses have industry punters confused. Lee is definitely targeting the way Apple’s Siri uses curated resources to answer some questions, including Wolfram Alpha for slightly more math or fact-based answers, and Yelp for restaurant reviews. But have both executives overlooked the fact that Siri allows searches of Google and Bing (and Yahoo) when it can’t find a clever answer that marries Wolfram Alpha’s natural language query responses with its own easy-to-use, natural language interface?”

“Lee and Rubin must be nervous,” Eaton correctly concludes. “One thing Siri does that may have both Google and Microsoft quaking in their boots is to act as a first sift ‘layer’ for users trying to query the internet for information… Siri could gum up Google and Bing (and Yahoo) ad revenue… Another huge worry for Apple’s competitors should be that the company will take its expertise gained from Siri in Beta on the iPhone 4S, and turn it into a massive game-changer with Siri 1.0 on the iPhone, the upcoming iPad 3 and the Mac itself, especially since there’s no reason an adjustment to the already impressive voice control “assistive” interfaces in OS X couldn’t learn from mobile tech and be augmented.”

There are plenty more reasons why Google and Microsoft are (or should be) worried about Siri in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The Siri-less are scared shitless. And rightly so.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Karla S.” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Morgenthaler says Apple’s iPhone 4S Siri is ‘seriously underrated’ (with video) – October 21, 2011
Apple debuts first iPhone 4S Siri television ad (with video) – October 21, 2011
Android chief not interested in turning Android devices into personal assistants – October 19, 2011
iPhone 4S’s snide, sassy, amazing Siri has plenty to say – October 18, 2011
Ars Technica reviews Apple iPhone 4S: A Siri-ously slick, speedy smartphone – October 18, 2011
Bajarin: Apple’s iPhone 4S with Siri launch a pivotal moment in tech, but many missed its significance – October 17, 2011
Apple gave Siri AI personal assistant its edge – October 16, 2011
PC Magazine reviews Apple iOS 5: The best phone and tablet OS, Editors’ Choice – October 15, 2011
PC Magazine reviews Apple iPhone 4S: Editors’ Choice – October 15, 2011
Wired reviews Apple iPhone 4S: The ‘S’ stands for Siri, a life-changer, the reason people should buy this phone – October 12, 2011
USA Today’s Baig reviews iPhone 4S: Apple takes world’s finest smartphone to even loftier heights – October 12, 2011
WSJ’s Walt Mossberg reviews Apple iPhone 4S: Siri artificial-intelligence has to be tried to be believed – October 12, 2011
NY Times’ Pogue reviews Apple iPhone 4S: Conceals sheer, mind-blowing magic – October 12, 2011


    1. The reason why Google and Microsoft feel uncomfortable about Siri is that Siri has the potential to to be the ads killer. If Siri were to be so good at answering questions and fetches the results, nobody would go to Google Search or Bing to click on ads. That would affect Google, especially, and Microsoft, to a lesser extent, hard.

      Even if Google or Microsoft were to copy Siri, it would still affect the ads-clicking business model. Who in their sane mind would want ads to intrude into their queries from a personal assistant? The irritating factor of ads intrusion will kill Google’s or Microsoft Siri-inspired personal assistants. That is why Google’s Andy Rubin is the first one to recognise the killer instinct of Siri. Google has to change the way it does business. Trying to copy Siri features would be its downfall.

  1. Wow… They are scared and grasping at straws to validate their statements. Kind of sad … They really can’t provide the voice interface and don’t have a clue as to how to proceed.

  2. That’s what separates Apple’s success from others. Andy doesn’t think you should be communicating with your phone, but evidently millions of consumers do.

    Apple creates products consumers want, not what some company exec thinks we should be doing with those products.

    1. I would be suspicious of any company head telling us what we should or shouldn’t be doing with devices as these also reveal self-serving agendas and poor vision. They might as well be weeping/blubbering out loud and saying “we don’t have anything like Siri, wahhhh.”

      The beauty of these devices is in the eyes and ears of the beholder holder. We’ll be the judge of that thanks Mr. Clueless Rival CEO!

    2. Rubin’s a tool. He could be pulling a Steve and dissing the competition until they have a reply, because if he truly believes what he said, he’s a fucking idiot. Siri isn’t a toy to amuse oneself in one way conversations with your device. It’s a tool to make your mobile computer even more useful. Or had Rubin not noticed that the whole fucking point of the modern smartphone was having a mobile software driven computer with you everywhere you go? What participant in the modem technology arena would limit the usefulness of that mobile computer by proscribing what taks it’s capable of performing?

  3. An elderly person telling Siri “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” and she’ll call an ambulance or other help for you. Eventually stuff like this will come along. The implications for helping the retired population are enormous. Ditto for the handicapped, let alone for the rest of the populace.

    And Microsoft and Google do not think it noteworthy? Disingenuously reacting and scared out their minds maybe.

    1. my wife has m.s. and that is one important reason she has a new iPhone (with lanyard to go around her neck and attachment to the bottom of the iPhone); this is HUGE. and makes me worry a whole lot less!

    2. Reminds me of Stevie Wonder’s recent comment from stage that there’s nothing we can do on the iPhone that he can’t do.

      Just imagine what the medical app developers will do **when** they open some Siri APIs…

  4. ‘You shouldn’t be communicating with the phone; you should be communicating with somebody on the other side of the phone,’”

    So how do you know? The Turing test is a test of a machine’s ability to exhibit intelligent behavior.

    The Google test is a test of anybody at Googles ability to exhibit intelligent behaviour, without stealing it!

    Googles new motto: Don’t be evil, it’s our job. ('t_be_evil)

  5. The reason Andy doesn’t think it’s a big deal – aside from Google’s general lack of understanding why people would want to use natural language to communicate – is that a major feature of his derivative OS is speech. And compared to Siri, it’s embarrassing.

    Rest assure, Google is looking to clone this too. As I said on Twitter, Google’s codename for the beta of their Siri knock-off should be “Asperger”.

  6. If you think about it I can give you a good analogy:
    Apple is your favourite pair of slippers (iPhone wise)
    And Google is your alright gown (Search Engine wise)
    iPhones and a google search engine work perfectly together IF THEY WANT IT TO
    Then your gown thinks ill try to copy the slippers
    Eventually it comes out that the slippers feel like cement and they’re made of COW SHIT compared to apples silk slippers


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