Siri show and TellMe redux

Rene already commented on Microsoft's "We had TellMe before Apple had Siri" sob story, but it bears repeating:

It’s amazing how decades later, Microsoft still doesn’t get it. A feature isn’t just a feature isn’t just a feature. It’s more than the sum of its technology and design. Android had great voice control going back to the Nexus One. But Siri isn’t voice control. Siri is context and relationships and Siri is absolutely personality. That Apple programmed Siri to feel like a Pixar character is what made it engaging and what got the internet to flood itself with screenshots showing hundreds of funny, witty, strange, and engaging Siri moments. It isn’t that Siri can transcribe a text message to Eric, it’s how it does it and how you feel doing it.

Windows Mobile and others had touchscreens for years before Apple debuted the iPhone. Then and now, it wasn’t about the spec but the experience.

Keep that in mind while watching the video above.

Source: TechAU on YouTube

Microsoft comments on Siri, proves they still don't get it

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Georgia

Senior Editor at iMore and a practicing therapist specializing in stress and anxiety. She speaks everywhere from conferences to corporations, co-host of Vector, Review, and Isometric podcasts, and should be followed on Twitter @Georgia_Dow.

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Reader comments

Siri show and TellMe redux

53 Comments

He's trying to do something this is not supported in an accent that is not supported - is it any surprise it failed miserably.
How about he would try to launch an app in Spanish?

Actually Apple didn't program Siri. They bought it.
But it's a good point you make. Apple doesn't invent anything; they simply take what is already out there and improve on it. And frankly, even if they didn't improve on it just slapping a shiny Apple logo on it assures that it will sell by the millions. That's the power of marking, not innovation, and other companies would kill for it.

Did you even read the blog post?
"That Apple programmed Siri to feel like a Pixar character is what made it engaging and what got the internet to flood itself with screenshots showing hundreds of funny, witty, strange, and engaging Siri moments."

Correct me if I'm wrong… but Siri was an app that didn't have this level of functionality when Apple first bought it right? Then, once Apple bought it, all the Siri employees became Apple employee right? Then those, now Apple, employees, programmed it to have more features, integrate with the iPhone, work with the backend servers, etc.
So correct me if I'm wrong… but if it was Apple employees doing the code, doesn't that mean that Apple programmed Siri to make it what it is today?

Ther are plenty of apple flops if the product does not match the ideal it won't sell. Also it is clear from the video that Siri is a superior implementation of this technology

actually microsoft has been doing just that since the begining of pcs..they bought dos from 2 guys in a garage and named it ms dos. bill gates did nothing to invent it.. just purchased it cheap and put his name and company logo on it and made it what it was. just like windows.. apple came first.. used the gui with windows and named it macintosh.. MS came a long and put color to it and named it "windows"..same with their business model.. they took all that novell had been doing for years with enterprise networking software and made it look like their home pc version with novells features for business networking.. so if we are going to talk about companies that never invent anything? umm MS is the biggest perpetrator. oh yeah.. apple had the ipod and a few years later...MS had zune.. i can keep going ..

I'm having trouble finding the part in my original comment where I credit Microsoft for being innovative, so I'm not sure what your point is other than setting up a strawman argument.
You do know that the iPod wasn't the first MP3 player, right? Not by a long shot.

*Sigh.
How is this a comparison? Aside from not understanding his accent, this video simply shows that TellMe does not understand Siri command. I was expecting an actual comparison. You know, showing what TellMe does well vs what Siri does well or something along those lines.
I like Siri. I make very heavy use of it daily. But this is nothing more than a silly fan video.

sigh
u didnt realize his version of siri and tellme are both set to his region, and speak in his accent, did you.
did u not notice the phones accents? did you even watch the video?

Funny, I thought I acknowledged TellMe did not understand his accent. My point was more about the fact that he used all Siri commands. I was looking for a comparison since he said (let's do a test AND COMPARE). Again, just a silly fan video.

eh, isn't the whole point of Siri that it doesn't require the user to know specific commands?
There should be no need to read a manual before using this kind of interface.

It is, but it still reacts to certain key words based on context.
I like Siri. Again, use it heavily. I just wanted to see a comparison, not a fan vid. For example, I can't open random apps with Siri (yet). It seems you can open apps with TellMe. That's the sort of comparison I was hoping for in a video titled "TellMe vs Siri".

I don't really see this as bias, i see it as one device can understand what he is saying, and the other cannot. Does this mean it will happen that way for everyone? No. Does it show that Siri can understand, even with the accent? Yes

The TellMe technology is a classic Microshaft, '93% is all the consumer will ever need', over-riding philosophy that drives everything Microshaft has/will ever do. This came from the base-line, personal philosophy of Bill Gates that says 'the consumer is basically stupid and they'll take anything we give them' .... Bomber is there just to keep the philosophy intact.
This is why Microshaft will always be a second-rate player.

The TellMe technology is a classic Microshaft, '93% is all the consumer will ever need', over-riding philosophy that drives everything Microshaft has/will ever do. This came from the base-line, personal philosophy of Bill Gates that says 'the consumer is basically stupid and they'll take anything we give them' .... Bomber is there just to keep the philosophy intact.
This is why Microshaft will always be a second-rate player.

not to be as harsh but i do tend to take anything Rene says with a spoon of salt as he is an admitted fanboy plus many of his posts and comments on the podcast strike me as coming from the perspective of someone in a perpetually trying to win an argument that their consumer product is the best. Not all but many post he seems like he's in a fight for Apple's honor. I get it. Some times i agree. But I just consider that he's not remotely unbiased.

You're on a blog titled, "The iPhone, iPad and iPod touch blog". Did you really think you would get unbiased information? Did you really think you wouldn't get an Apple fanboy's opinion? This isn't CNET or Engadget... those sites TEND to be unbiased (for the most part). Check out AndroidCentrel, PreCentral, Crackberry or WPCentral; any one of those sites will hunt for, and give you, information biased toward their own likes and dislikes. That's not to say these sites ignore the obvious or hide shortcomings, however, you tend to get biased information when you visit a topic/product/idea specific blog.
Just sayin'

When Rene refers to himself as a "journalist" he commits himself to holding to the basic ethics of that profession. Instead, he tries to have it both ways, calling himself a journalist when being interviewed and hiding behind being "just a blogger" when called out. Pick one or the other, and do it wholeheartedly.

He doesn't really call himself a journalist, does he? I'm new here, but I have yet to see a blogger that has the scruples of a true journalist.

Pick one or the other, and do it wholeheartedly.

Pick an ID, and do it wholeheartedly. Oh, never mind. That would only embarrass you more when you post nonsense.

That's the problem with Android. User experience. Microsoft is starting to get it but not to the point where they are listening to complaints about that "ribbon interface" and getting rid of it because the user experience of it is frustrating. Microsoft can claim to have this or that but the fact is that Apple sells millions of products and is increasing market share and profits because people like the user experience. Until everyone else gets that, they won't be nearly as acceptable as Apple is.

That's the problem with Android. User experience. Microsoft is starting to get it but not to the point where they are listening to complaints about that "ribbon interface" and getting rid of it because the user experience of it is frustrating. Microsoft can claim to have this or that but the fact is that Apple sells millions of products and is increasing market share and profits because people like the user experience. Until everyone else gets that, they won't be nearly as acceptable as Apple is.

well the same could be said about the guys over at android central, palm central or wp central or even crack berry.. these guys arent fan boys. they are knowledgable people who happen to be very knowledgable and partial to the products they review or write about..thats they their sites are dedicated to these particular devices.. if you want impartial reviews go to cnet.com or some other tech review site not to one like tipb.com that is specifically for apple products..you dont see android central or any of the others doing "impartial" side by side comparisons of apple's products..just sayin...you might be in the wrong place if your looking for an all in one product place..

The original video is a bit misleading because it tests what TellMe does not even try to do. People here have a point that you could easily show videos where TellMe does things (like open or control apps) that Siri does not do. People in these comments have a point in that the direct comparison in the video is not fair.
However, Craig Mundie invited this direct comparison in his original interview. You cannot say that you have "Siri-like" functionality and then take umbrage when people examine your product against what they know of Siri. You (Craig) proclaimed there are similar aspects, now either get out in front and drive the narrative of the comparison yourself, or make one undefended statement, and accept your lumps that other people are going to make their own comparisons.
For the record, I also think Rene misses the point when he says that people like Siri because it is programmed it to "feel like a Pixar character." That is tangential, at best. People like Siri because it currently does the best job of adapting your plain speech into useful commands, rather than forcing you to to adapt to it. Siri could feel like Hans Gruber*, and, as long as it nailed that one job, people would still use it enthusiastically.

  • Also for the record, I would buy a Hans Gruber voice/personality pack for Siri.