Microsoft Corporation has wowed us with its innovative Surface brand. The Surface Pro, Surface Studio, Surface Laptop, Surface Book, and Surface Dial are some of the latest and greatest gadgets from the firm. They have rebirthed it to become a major driver of innovation in the tech market. Success with the Surface brand is particularly interesting as, through it, Microsoft has put an end to the notion that the PC is dying.
However, what many people don’t know is that the firm has a place it calls The Garage. The Microsoft Garage is where small teams across the company work on exploring new technologies that will challenge convention in the hopes of creating the next big thing that you can’t live without. This piece looks at one of the latest products from The Garage –Microsoft Dictate.
Meet Microsoft Dictate, hands-free typing at its finest
Microsoft Corporation Dictate is an add-on tool designed for use with Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook to make you more efficient at writing without using a keyboard. Dictate is simply a speech to text tool that lets you speak whatever you want to write. What makes Dictate special is the fact that it uses the same high tech speech recognition software that powers Cortana.
Dictate will help Windows extend its lead in the PC market for consumer and enterprise segments for people who spend their days in front of a computer screen. Freelancers, entrepreneurs, media, startups, and other professionals will find Dictate useful. It is perfect for writing emails, documents, presentations, and other tasks you want to achieve on Outlook, Word, or PowerPoint – the best part is that you don’t have to type.
Speech to text has been around for quite a while and it never really caught on due to a number of reasons. For one, the speech to text software often finds it difficult to transcribe speech correctly and you’ll waste valuable time repeating the same words/phrases over and over again. However, Microsoft seems to have solved most of the problems facing speech to text with Cortana, Bing Speech API, and Microsoft Cognitive Services.
Dictate could make it harder to kill the PC
Microsoft Corporation is still heavily invested in the PC business and dictate is one of small but important tools that can keep the PC alive. Dictate could make life much easier by reducing the need to type. Interestingly, the result of a study by Stanford University suggests that dictating can get words down three times faster than typing.
In addition, Dictate can be a cheaper, easier, and more efficient alternative to the available transcription services. People with disabilities such as arthritis, dyslexia, impaired visions, and amputated limbs will also find Dictate very useful in that it allows them to be creative without being overly dependent.
Dictate also support dictation in about 20 languages and it supports contextual translation into about 60 languages. To install Dictate, you’ll need Windows 8.1 or later, Office 2013 or later, and .Net Framework 4.5.0 or later.