Microsoft’s Secret Weapon Could Destroy Apple’s Siri – Editors Pick

 So what is Microsoft up to with speech recognition in the mobile space?

My Apple (AAPL) iPhone 4S is the best gadget I’ve ever owned. The snazzy, high-resolution Retina display, high-quality camera, dizzying array of apps, and amazing battery life (yes, I get amazing battery life on my 4S) suit my mobile-computing needs to a tee.

But as it turns out, the 4S is not quite perfect in my eyes.

Why?

Because of Apple’s voice-activated “assistant,” Siri.

As an Apple shareholder, I say Siri has been a blessing because its inclusion in the 4S was a brilliant piece of stealth marketing. It gave boatloads of people an excuse to pull out their new phones and show them to other people.

“Let’s ask Siri to find a Mexican restaurant around here!”

“Let’s ask Siri the meaning of life!”

“Let’s ask Siri where to hide the body!”

It was just oodles of fun to ask Siri both useful and ridiculous questions just to see what she’d say.

But the reality is that Siri does not work as well as intended.

For example, in order to work, Siri must be connected to the Internet so she can reach Apple’s servers — a nice way for Apple to collect data on how folks use their phones.

And you know what that means?

When I’m in my bedroom, where my Wi-Fi and 3G reception aren’t that great, I can’t set my iPhone’s alarm! Why should I have to ping Apple’s servers to complete a task that does not require data from the Internet?

Furthermore, at least half the time, Siri doesn’t understand what I’m saying, especially when I’m in public. And I’m not the only one. At least two lawsuits have been filed against Apple, alleging false advertising regarding Siri’s capabilities.

A complaint filed by David Jones of California noted this experience: “…Plaintiff would ask Siri for directions to a certain location, or to pinpoint a business, and Siri either would not understand what Plaintiff asked, or, after a long wait, provided the wrong answer.”

Now, it’s obvious that Apple pulled a pretty slick stunt with Siri, which it has described as being “currently in beta,” even though unlike competitors such as Google (GOOG), it never puts “beta” products in front of the public’s eyes.

I mean, if Siri really was in beta, why would Apple make it a distinct focal point in marketing for the iPhone 4S?

And why would it be aggressively pushed in the 4S’ unveiling?:

Sorry, Apple, you can’t have it both ways!

It’s just plain wrong to use Siri as a marketing tool, but then use the whole “beta” thing as an excuse when there are technical problems.

I believe that the deflation of public enthusiasm for Siri presents an opportunity for rival companies to make moves with their own voice-activated digital assistants.

As implied by the title, Microsoft (MSFT) is specifically suited to succeed with a Siri rival.

And let me tell you, it needs a boost.

While Microsoft has been pushing Windows Phone big time, it’s been a flop. According to Gartner, Microsoft’s smartphone operating-system market share was a pathetic 1.9% in the fourth quarter of 2011, versus 50.9% for Android and 23.8% for Apple:

Heck, even Bada beat Microsoft!

By the way — if anyone can tell me what Bada is, please drop me a line via the comment section below. I asked Siri and she didn’t know…

So back to the story.

Yes, the underwhelming Siri has created an opportunity for Microsoft to one-up it with a blast from the past.

And that blast is…

Position in AAPL
The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer’s business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

Copyright 2011 Minyanville Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

 

That’s right — Clippy! — the animated, anthropomorphic paper clip that took the world by storm by acting as the world’s greatest office assistant.

Clippy is superior to Siri on countless levels.

For one, the asexual Clippy is emblematic of Microsoft’s relatively progressive world view.

Siri, on the other hand, is characterized as female. Oh, well, I guess the caveman Apple just believes that women are subservient by nature. Kudos to Microsoft for taking the high road with its asexual paper clip.

At the very least, Apple should have given us an option.

But we shouldn’t be surprised, given that Apple’s senior management team is 100% dudes:


Click to enlarge

I’m surprised Al Bundy isn’t on there!

At least Apple managed to put a woman, Andrea Jung of Avon (AVP), on the board of directors.

Furthermore, anyone with serious Microsoft Office experience knows that Clippy is dead-set on improving your knowledge base. Launch Microsoft Office, and Clippy’s right there in your face with a tip:

WHOA!

Imagine how cool it would be if EVERY time you turned on your iPhone, Siri would pop up a tip like, “Turn off Wi-Fi to improve your batter life,” or “You can adjust screen brightness by using the brightness control.”

But I guess it’s not a woman’s place to speak up. Excuse me.

What’s even cooler is how Clippy just jumps in to offer help with whatever you’re doing.

For example, I recently wrote a cover letter to my (hopefully) future boss.

As soon as I typed “Dear Lloyd,” Clippy jumped right in to offer help!

Check this out:

Step aside, David Blaine — there’s a new magician in town!

Siri, on the other hand, is too stupid to offer help with every little thing I do.

For example, let’s say I turn on my iPhone, and load up the camera app. Wouldn’t it be awesome if Siri popped up and asked “It looks like you want to take a picture. Should I turn the flash on?”

Or, “There is a homeless person in front of you. Should I make it black & white so people know it’s art?”

The possibilities are ENDLESS — this article barely skims the surface of what’s possible with Clippy as your co-pilot in life.

Apple fumbled royally with Siri, and that’s created an opportunity for Microsoft to bring back the universally-admired Clippy.

Clippy is superior to Siri on political, sociological, technological, and usability levels, so please Microsoft, wake up! Integrate Clippy into Windows Phone as soon as possible, BEFORE people spend years, or even decades, getting accustomed to a piece of dysfunctional, half-baked software. My study of the history of the computer industry has shown that if people use something lousy long enough, they will get used to it! So act now!

As I showed above, Windows Phone has just 1.9% market share.

Put Clippy in, and that number goes straight to 190%.

One-hundred-ninety percent market share… Think about it. Mathematically, it’s impossible to have 190% market share, but if anyone can do it, Microsoft can!

And oh yeah, Happy April Fool’s Day!



Original Page: http://www.google.com/url?sa=X&q=http://www.minyanville.com/business-news/editors-pick/articles/aapl-siri-msft-goog-iphone-clippy/4/1/2012/id/40169&ct=ga&cad=CAcQARgBIAAoATAAOABAuve-_ARIAlAAWABiBWVuLVVT&cd=hoz-PFo0XOo&usg=AFQjCNHmB6EOZu0gw2OBU8UXK8tDDkCk3g

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Microsoft’s Secret Weapon Could Destroy Apple’s Siri – Editors Pick

 So what is Microsoft up to with speech recognition in the mobile space?

My Apple (AAPL) iPhone 4S is the best gadget I’ve ever owned. The snazzy, high-resolution Retina display, high-quality camera, dizzying array of apps, and amazing battery life (yes, I get amazing battery life on my 4S) suit my mobile-computing needs to a tee.

But as it turns out, the 4S is not quite perfect in my eyes.

Why?

Because of Apple’s voice-activated “assistant,” Siri.

As an Apple shareholder, I say Siri has been a blessing because its inclusion in the 4S was a brilliant piece of stealth marketing. It gave boatloads of people an excuse to pull out their new phones and show them to other people.

“Let’s ask Siri to find a Mexican restaurant around here!”

“Let’s ask Siri the meaning of life!”

“Let’s ask Siri where to hide the body!”

It was just oodles of fun to ask Siri both useful and ridiculous questions just to see what she’d say.

But the reality is that Siri does not work as well as intended.

For example, in order to work, Siri must be connected to the Internet so she can reach Apple’s servers — a nice way for Apple to collect data on how folks use their phones.

And you know what that means?

When I’m in my bedroom, where my Wi-Fi and 3G reception aren’t that great, I can’t set my iPhone’s alarm! Why should I have to ping Apple’s servers to complete a task that does not require data from the Internet?

Furthermore, at least half the time, Siri doesn’t understand what I’m saying, especially when I’m in public. And I’m not the only one. At least two lawsuits have been filed against Apple, alleging false advertising regarding Siri’s capabilities.

A complaint filed by David Jones of California noted this experience: “…Plaintiff would ask Siri for directions to a certain location, or to pinpoint a business, and Siri either would not understand what Plaintiff asked, or, after a long wait, provided the wrong answer.”

Now, it’s obvious that Apple pulled a pretty slick stunt with Siri, which it has described as being “currently in beta,” even though unlike competitors such as Google (GOOG), it never puts “beta” products in front of the public’s eyes.

I mean, if Siri really was in beta, why would Apple make it a distinct focal point in marketing for the iPhone 4S?

And why would it be aggressively pushed in the 4S’ unveiling?:

Sorry, Apple, you can’t have it both ways!

It’s just plain wrong to use Siri as a marketing tool, but then use the whole “beta” thing as an excuse when there are technical problems.

I believe that the deflation of public enthusiasm for Siri presents an opportunity for rival companies to make moves with their own voice-activated digital assistants.

As implied by the title, Microsoft (MSFT) is specifically suited to succeed with a Siri rival.

And let me tell you, it needs a boost.

While Microsoft has been pushing Windows Phone big time, it’s been a flop. According to Gartner, Microsoft’s smartphone operating-system market share was a pathetic 1.9% in the fourth quarter of 2011, versus 50.9% for Android and 23.8% for Apple:

Heck, even Bada beat Microsoft!

By the way — if anyone can tell me what Bada is, please drop me a line via the comment section below. I asked Siri and she didn’t know…

So back to the story.

Yes, the underwhelming Siri has created an opportunity for Microsoft to one-up it with a blast from the past.

And that blast is…

Position in AAPL
The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer’s business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

Copyright 2011 Minyanville Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

 

That’s right — Clippy! — the animated, anthropomorphic paper clip that took the world by storm by acting as the world’s greatest office assistant.

Clippy is superior to Siri on countless levels.

For one, the asexual Clippy is emblematic of Microsoft’s relatively progressive world view.

Siri, on the other hand, is characterized as female. Oh, well, I guess the caveman Apple just believes that women are subservient by nature. Kudos to Microsoft for taking the high road with its asexual paper clip.

At the very least, Apple should have given us an option.

But we shouldn’t be surprised, given that Apple’s senior management team is 100% dudes:


Click to enlarge

I’m surprised Al Bundy isn’t on there!

At least Apple managed to put a woman, Andrea Jung of Avon (AVP), on the board of directors.

Furthermore, anyone with serious Microsoft Office experience knows that Clippy is dead-set on improving your knowledge base. Launch Microsoft Office, and Clippy’s right there in your face with a tip:

WHOA!

Imagine how cool it would be if EVERY time you turned on your iPhone, Siri would pop up a tip like, “Turn off Wi-Fi to improve your batter life,” or “You can adjust screen brightness by using the brightness control.”

But I guess it’s not a woman’s place to speak up. Excuse me.

What’s even cooler is how Clippy just jumps in to offer help with whatever you’re doing.

For example, I recently wrote a cover letter to my (hopefully) future boss.

As soon as I typed “Dear Lloyd,” Clippy jumped right in to offer help!

Check this out:

Step aside, David Blaine — there’s a new magician in town!

Siri, on the other hand, is too stupid to offer help with every little thing I do.

For example, let’s say I turn on my iPhone, and load up the camera app. Wouldn’t it be awesome if Siri popped up and asked “It looks like you want to take a picture. Should I turn the flash on?”

Or, “There is a homeless person in front of you. Should I make it black & white so people know it’s art?”

The possibilities are ENDLESS — this article barely skims the surface of what’s possible with Clippy as your co-pilot in life.

Apple fumbled royally with Siri, and that’s created an opportunity for Microsoft to bring back the universally-admired Clippy.

Clippy is superior to Siri on political, sociological, technological, and usability levels, so please Microsoft, wake up! Integrate Clippy into Windows Phone as soon as possible, BEFORE people spend years, or even decades, getting accustomed to a piece of dysfunctional, half-baked software. My study of the history of the computer industry has shown that if people use something lousy long enough, they will get used to it! So act now!

As I showed above, Windows Phone has just 1.9% market share.

Put Clippy in, and that number goes straight to 190%.

One-hundred-ninety percent market share… Think about it. Mathematically, it’s impossible to have 190% market share, but if anyone can do it, Microsoft can!

And oh yeah, Happy April Fool’s Day!



Original Page: http://www.google.com/url?sa=X&q=http://www.minyanville.com/business-news/editors-pick/articles/aapl-siri-msft-goog-iphone-clippy/4/1/2012/id/40169&ct=ga&cad=CAcQARgBIAAoATAAOABAuve-_ARIAlAAWABiBWVuLVVT&cd=hoz-PFo0XOo&usg=AFQjCNHmB6EOZu0gw2OBU8UXK8tDDkCk3g

More-latest speech technologies
Social share or comment – what do you think?

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