Microsoft Pipes Up in Voice Mart
I'm getting older so my memory isn't always perfect, but I seem to recall an
interview with Bill Gates over 20 years where he talked about voice recognition,
fuzzy logic and other cutting-edge software concepts, and about how he would
ponder how Microsoft could address these issues while in the shower (while Gates
was in the shower, not his company).
Well, thousands of presumed showers later, Microsoft is getting closer to realizing
Gates' voice visions. Office has voice recognition built in (let me know if
it's any good at firstname.lastname@example.org),
they have a speech server product, and now
Microsoft owns Tellme, a high-end voice recognition vendor whose technology
drives everything from banking systems to directory assistance.
Just When I Jump on a Bandwagon, the Wheels Fly Off
Recently, I received praise from the FoxPro community for writing a small number
of sentences in praise of the product.
But I apparently made on error, arguing that the loyal FoxPro user base would
not let Microsoft kill off the product. I
Visual FoxPro 9, due this year, will be the last of what Microsoft believes
is a legacy tool (it has its roots in the old dBase market), but what users
consider a powerful, controllable tool with plenty of third-party support and
a massive library of custom applications.
Jupiter to Microsoft and Back
Going to Jupiter and back seems like a long trip, but not if you're analyst
Gartenberg recently left a cushy job at JupiterResearch to join Microsoft as
an evangelist. Apparently, Mike doesn't quite have the necessary Redmond religion;
he no sooner got there than he turned
around and went back to Jupiter (here's
I defended Gartenberg against critics who called him a sellout and a corporate
shill (some of my best friends are sellouts and corporate shills!). Now I don't
know what to think. I do, though, wonder what the heck happened during those
few days he spent at Microsoft!
Doug's Mailbag: The Patch that Got Away, Why MS Search
Can't Cut It, More
If a patch gets released before Patch
Tuesday, does it make a sound? Not if Microsoft can help it, one reader
I just wanted to let you know that Tuesday wasn't a totally patch-free
Tuesday. Microsoft released an XP-specific patch under KB929338
which was officially released Feb. 27, 2007. This update was just downloaded
by our corporate WSUS server and pushed out to our client computers for installation.
I guess since it was released between the time period of February's patch
Tuesday and March's patch Tuesday, Microsoft doesn't consider this worth mentioning.
Or maybe they just forgot about it.
It's also available from the regular Windows Updates Web site. So now
I really don't know why Microsoft is saying there are no new patches released.
Microsoft already trails
Google and Yahoo, respectively, in the search arena. Next thing you know,
Live Search exec Christopher Payne announces that he's leaving
his post. Are Microsoft's dismal search numbers to blame? One reader chips
in his 2 cents:
I think that the issue goes lots deeper. Here's why (is MS listening?):
I was just using Windows update to update my servers manually on Patch Tuesday.
(I know, no security patches, but there is other stuff out there, too, that
rolls on this day.) I noticed that Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 is available.
I don't want to download this thing (120MB) on every server, so I thought
I would download once.
To make a long story short, as the saying goes, I found more info on
this service pack through Google's Web site than through the MS Web site.
Maybe if MS Search was more relevant, it would get used more. They can't even
index their own content.
By the way, this isn't the first time I've used Google to find stuff
on Microsoft's Web site. That's worse than having your wife find stuff for
you because you can't find it!
So, is the promise of a line
of Apple subnotebooks anything to cheer about? For this reader, not really:
Sadly, it's still a Mac! 'Nuf said.
Let me know what you think! Drop me a line at email@example.com
or comment below.
Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.