Microsoft exec laughs off Apple’s Siri, claims Windows phones have had ‘similar capability’ for over a year

When Microsoft’s chief strategy and research officer Craig Mundie sat down with Fortune’s Eric Savitz to talk the company’s planned expansion of the new user interface, he did what Microsoft executives typically do when challenged with a cool tech developed outside the Windows maker’s labs: He stuck his foot in his mouth over Apple’s groundbreaking digital secretary exclusive to the iPhone 4S,” Christian Zibreg reports for 9to5Mac.

People are infatuated with Apple announcing it. It’s good marketing, but at least as the technological capability you could argue that Microsoft has had a similar capability in Windows Phones for more than a year, since Windows Phone 7 was introduced.

Zibreg reports, “Windows Phones, seriously? Mundie couldn’t acknowledge Siri as an ace up Apple’s sleeve and barely accepted that Microsoft could learn a lesson or two about “productizing” technology. He then went on to describe how their version of Siri works on Windows Phones.”

You can pick ‘em up and say ‘text Eric’ and say what you wanna say and it transcribes it. You can query anything through Bing by just saying the words. I mean, all that’s already there. Fully functional, been there for a year.

Read more – and watch the video – in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Mundie knows the truth, but he’s got nothing else to offer, so he lies.

The early effect of iPhone 4S and Siri on other companies’ “smartphone” sales must be quite evident internally by now.

The Siri-less are scared shitless, and rightfully so.

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

Related articles:
Apple’s Siri makes Google and Microsoft look foolish; begins to cast shadow over the industry – October 25, 2011
Nervous Google and Microsoft bad-mouth Apple’s revolutionary Siri – October 21, 2011
Android chief not interested in turning Android devices into personal assistants – October 19, 2011

46 Comments

  1. The “laughing off” thing never seems to work or end well for Microsoft. Ask Steve Ballmer (re: his 2007 iPhone appraisal and chances in the market). What’s funnier is that they think people are so stupid as to believe ANYTHING they have to say anymore or that they can bamboozle an increasingly educated consumer.

  2. Must have been trained by Ballmer! Now we all know this guys is a clueless idiot. Unfortunately the IT/CIO/Drones/Pawns/Slaves/Grease Laden MS Zombies will believe him. Next step in the act, the perpetuation of this myth that this he just seeded to his slaves.

  3. I like “The Siri-less are scared shitless” and I have already seen the non Siri ads starting up to fake out the clueless. (Example: The pink elves in the phone ad.) Structured voice commands are not AI like where meaning and context are interpreted. Ballmer is thinking, “Man, I should have built a BILLION DOLLAR SERVER FARM so I could handle something like Siri on our crap turd products.”

    1. Dobt give them any ideas, before we know it there will be a Microsoft server farm right across the street from the Apple one and they will give out concert tickets to get anyone to care.

    2. The most amazing thing about Siri is that just about anyone who uses it does not have to learn a new level of technical language to get a response. Even your pet cat or dog “meowing” or “woofing” can also get an intelligible response from Siri.

      Imagine if Siri were to come to the TV arena?: You don’t have to do a Balmer-on-stage, as the Kinect requires you to do, to get an elegant interface.

  4. So according to Microsoft, a Bing search with voice and “Text Eric” is just like Siri? Do Windows 7 phones tell you the weather, schedule appointments, make calls, set reminders, play music, take notes, send tweets, give suggestions for restaurants based on your location, etc. etc. etc. all with voice commands. Okay maybe it can do a couple of these things but definitely not all of them. Apparently their “voice commands” isn’t revolutionary enough to advertise or even tell people that it’s available.

  5. I often wonder if they actually think their comments are going to change anything – make people go, “Oh, MS has Siri? – Maybe I should buy a windows phone instead”.
    It just seems so pointless to make these dumbass comments in interviews. It doesn’t do anything but prove how impervious they are to reality.
    Probably the only thing they accomplish is to prove internally, for political reasons, that they are still defending the faith.

  6. The MS exec obviously knows that their AI is inferior to Siri and has much more limited capability. However, they want to convince consumers that their features are the same as Siri

    A friend of mine with Android devices, who is quite tech savvy, told me something similar to what the MS exec said. Oh, I can say blah blah blah and it does blah blah blah. I don’t think most people fully understand how much better and more functional Siri is than on MS and Google mobile OSes. They are 2-3 years behind Apple on this. Apple is doing a fairly good job of showing the power of it in commercials, but they need to do more.

    1. So, the user in the ad she asks: “What’s my day look like?”

      And Siri responds: “Not bad. Only two meetings today.”

      Anyone who knows anything about language will tell you who remarkable this is. The first sentence contains a contraction (What’s) that, when taken out of the sentence, usually represents “What is”. However, in the context of this sentence, it represents “What does”. Next, the form “what does it look like” requires very thorough language grammar and syntax knowledge to properly interpret. Finally, and most importantly, the actual meaning of a question “How does a day look?” (a day is not an object, so it cannot look pretty, or fat, or ugly, or nice; for the most part, it can look good, busy, fair…). How does someone determine whether day looks good, fair or bad (busy)? In other words, how does an intelligent device infer that a day is good by checking a calendar for that day? And it doesn’t mean weather?

      This is a very tiny, innocent, casual encounter with Siri that underscores the immense complexity of its AI and the great distance btween Siri and everything else out there.

    2. The problem with Google or Microsoft is that they cannot or will not make their counterpart to Siri to be as capable and versatile because it will kill their geese that lay their ads’ golden eggs.

      Here Apple has a huge advantage over Google or Microsoft: It has no huge investment in a soon-to-be-outdated interface.

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