"Microsoft has pumped out voice recognition software for years, but the company has a curious aversion to publicizing the fact. With Windows 7, Microsoft's speech recognition has become a decent productivity tool and one that the company should be proud to proclaim as an OS feature. For the casual speech recognition user, nothing beats free—especially when one considers the $100+ price points for third-party software.
But is it powerful enough for serious users? One long-running criticism of Microsoft's bundled Windows software is that is strives only to be "good enough" without ever achieving excellence. Ars Technica's Editor-in-chief Ken Fisher and I put Win 7's built in recognition engine to the test for a couple of months to find out how well it serves the needs of the hardcore word jockey. We'll spare you the suspense: serious users will want to look elsewhere, but this is a great way to show any colleague with a Win 7 machine that speech recognition is real, it's here, and it works."
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