Last week, Microsoft’s Craig Mundie scoffed at the notion that Siri, one of the more prominent features in the iPhone 4S, was anywhere close to being groundbreaking technology. Mundie was the genius behind Microsoft’s WebTV Networks acquisition so it’s no surprise that he currently works as Microsoft’s chief research and strategy officer.
Siri, according to Mundie, is nothing more than crafty marketing, explaining that “people are infatuated with Apple announcing it.”
And as for the technology itself, well he’s equally unimpressed.
“At least as a technological capability,” Mundie explained, “you could argue that Microsoft has had a similar capability [in Windows Phone] for more than a year.”
Similar? Perhaps. The same? Not even close. Hell, Apple pre-iPhone 4S had voice recognition functionality but no one would venture to say it’s anywhere close to what Siri is today.
And further illustrating Microsoft’s complete lack of understanding – or perhaps just Mundie’s – behind how the masses view and interact with technology, Mundie said that Siri was deployed solely to serve as a “hammer” to preempt disappointment over the iPhone 4S not being a “completely new thing.”
Instead of taking Mundie’s corporate mumbo jumbo at face value, Jason Cartwright of TechAu decided to put Siri to the test and compare it to Microsoft’s Tellme, the voice recognition feature built into Windows Phone 7. The video below is effectively a definitive nail in the coffin of Mundie’s assertions.