Windows Speech Recognition

Windows Speech Recognition

Infobox Software
name = Windows Speech Recognition

caption = Windows Speech Recognition in Sleep mode
developer = Microsoft
latest release version = 6.0.6001
latest release date = February 4, 2008
operating system = Microsoft Windows
genre = Speech recognition
license = Proprietary software
website = [ Windows Vista: Features Explained: Windows Speech Recognition]

Windows Speech Recognition is a speech recognition application included in Windows Vista, the most recently released version of Microsoft Windows.


Windows Speech Recognition allows the user to control the computer by giving specific voice commands. The program can also be used for the dictation of text.

Applications that don't present obvious "commands" can still be controlled by asking the system to overlay numbers on top of interface elements; the number can subsequently be spoken to activate that function. Programs needing mouse clicks in arbitrary locations can also be controlled through speech; when asked to do so, a "mousegrid" of nine zones is displayed, with numbers inside each. The user speaks the number, and another grid of nine zones is placed inside the chosen zone. This continues until the user has focused to where he/she wants to click.

Windows Speech Recognition has a fairly high recognition accuracy and provides a set of commands that assists in dictation.Fact|date=February 2007 A brief speech-driven tutorial is included to help familiarize a user with speech recognition commands. Training could also be completed to improve the accuracy of speech recognition.

Currently, the application supports several languages, including English (U.S. and British), Spanish, German, French, Japanese and Chinese (traditional and simplified). [ [ Windows Speech Recognition in Windows Vista] ] Support for additional languages is planned for future releases.Fact|date=March 2008


In 1993, Microsoft hired Xuedong Huang from CMU to lead its speech efforts. Microsoft has been involved in research on speech recognition and text to speech. [ Talking Windows: Exploring New Speech Recognition And Synthesis APIs In Windows Vista] ] The company's research eventually led to the development of the Speech API (SAPI).

Speech recognition technology has been used in some of Microsoft's products, including Microsoft Dictation (a research prototype that ran on Windows 9x). It was also included in Office XP, Office 2003 [ [ Using speech recognition for the first time in Office - Help and How-to - Microsoft Office Online] ] , Microsoft Plus! for Windows XP, Windows XP Tablet PC Edition, and Windows Mobile (as "Microsoft Voice Command") [ [ Speech Recognition for the Pocket PC :: May 2002] ] . However, prior to Windows Vista, speech recognition was not mainstream. In response, Windows Speech Recognition was bundled with Windows Vista and released in 2006, making the operating system the first mainstream version of Microsoft Windows to offer fully-integrated support for speech recognition.

Notable incident

The use of Windows Speech Recognition during a demonstration of Windows Vista at a Microsoft Financial Analyst Meeting on July 27, 2006, resulted in a well-publicized and embarrassing incident. The software failed to function correctly initially, resulting in an unintended output of "Dear aunt, let's set so double the killer delete select all". [ [ When good demos go (very, very) bad] ] [ [ Vista's Voice Recognition Stammers] ] [ [ Vista voice-recognition feature needs work] ] A developer with Vista's speech recognition team later explained that Windows Speech Recognition's failure to function properly during the demonstration was the result of a bug in the volume control feature, which caused the application to pick up extra noise that affected its performance.cite web
title=FAM: Vista SR Demo failure -- And now you know the rest of the story ...
date=July 29 2006
author=Rob Chambers
work=Rob's Rhapsody
publisher=MSDN Blogs
] [ [ Windows Vista Speech Recognition] ] The software bug was fixed by Microsoft prior to the release of Vista to the general public.

Technical details

Windows Speech Recognition relies on Microsoft SAPI version 5.3 (included in Windows Vista) to function. The application also utilizes Microsoft Speech Recognizer 8.0 for Windows as its speech profile engine.

ecurity issue

In 2007, reports surfaced that Windows Speech Recognition could be used to remotely access and/or control a user's computer. [,128737-c,vistalonghorn/article.html PC World - Honeymoon's Over: First Windows Vista Flaw] ] Theoretically, playing a pre-recorded message containing Windows Speech Recognition commands could allow one to execute tasks on another computer remotely. This issue is one of the first Vista vulnerabilities to surface after the release of the operating system to the general public.

Microsoft has officially recognized the vulnerability, but estimates it does not present a serious threat, because even if a hacker does successfully exploit the flaw, he/she would not be able to perform any functions limited by the access rights of the user, which likely include administrative tasks.

ee also

*List of speech recognition software
*Speech recognition
*Windows Vista
*Technical features new to Windows Vista


External links

* [ Windows Vista: Features Explained: Windows Speech Recognition]
* [ Quick and Easy Steps] on how to use Speech Recognition with Windows Vista.
* [ YouTube - Windows Vista Speech Recognition] - video of unsuccessful Windows Speech Recognition demonstration

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