speech@microsoft Activates Blog

One of the most enticing things about Microsoft's Windows Vista operating system is its embedded speech recognition system. However, many users don’t even realize it exists, let alone know how to maximize its use. And when they do have queries, they’re often scattered to a variety of public email aliases. To better consolidate that information, the developers responsible for incorporating speech into Windows Vista have launched a blog.

speech@microsoft does not boast a particularly flashy interface and its content so far is limited and seems determined primarily by end customer queries. "The blog has actually existed for a long time, but we never posted to it," says Mike Plumpe, development manager at Speech Components Group, which supplies the core components that Microsoft uses for its speech technologies. "I made three within the past couple weeks." 

His hope is for the team at Speech Components Group to post with greater frequency—around once a week or several times a month—though he’s hesitant to promise a regimented schedule. Topics addressed so far range from application programming interfaces and Microsoft engine capabilities to more basic, FAQ-type questions, such as the range of supported languages. 

The ultimate goal is "to connect with customers and partners to share ideas, tips, and tricks, and get feedback on our products," explains Rob Chambers, group program manager of Speech Components Group.

Customers ask questions through a variety of public newsgroups, Web-based user groups, email aliases, and through Product Support. Developers noticed similar questions appearing with great frequency and initially answered them directly.

But while that was good for the individual, it didn’t particularly benefit the broader speech technology community. "We’re trying to take the issues that we see on those aliases," Plumpe says. "If they’re one-time issues, we’ll respond directly, but if they’re issues that are of interest to more people, we’ll post them on the blog. Also when we have announcements to make, we’ll post them."

So far, the blog focuses primarily on speech technology within Vista. However, "we will almost certainly publish content that covers other aspects of speech in ways other than with just a desktop focus," Chambers says.

speech@microsoft can be found at http://blogs.msdn.com/speech/ 

Public newsgroups:

Public email aliases:
listen@microsoft.com — speech recognition feedback alias
speak@microsoft.com — text-to-speech feedback alias
sapi5@microsoft.com — developer-focused feedback alias

SpeechTek Covers
for qualified subscribers
Subscribe Now Current Issue Past Issues