Archive for May, 2007

Speech Recognition in Windows Vista and Office 2007

There’s a bit of confusion as to what has happened to the speech recognition element of Microsoft Office 2007.

Speech recognition was first introduced by Microsoft as a feature of Office XP in 2001. An improved version was then included with Microsoft Office 2003. It has been removed from the latest release, Office 2007, and is now part of Windows Vista.

Speech recognition has been ‘promoted’ to become part of Windows Vista – Microsoft’s latest operating system. This means that the feature can be used across all compatible Windows applications and makes it a real competitor for Dragon NaturallySpeaking.

If you are using Windows XP and you upgrade to Office 2007 you will lose the speech recognition feature. If you are determined to use Office 2007 then you must have a computer running Windows Vista to carry on using speech recognition. Unless, of course, you install a third-party solution such as Dragon NaturallySpeaking or IBM ViaVoice.

Further information on using speech recognition in Windows Vista will shortly appear on this blog.

Speech Recognition is often incorrectly known as Voice Recognition.

3 comments May 9th, 2007

US Schools Drop Laptops

“After seven years, there was literally no evidence it had any impact on student achievement — none.”

So the idea that a laptop for every child improves their education turned out not to be true. At least that’s what they’re finding in America, according to an article published in the New York Times today.

“Laptops had been abused by students, did not fit into lesson plans, and showed little, if any, measurable effect on grades and test scores.”

The biggest problem seems to be that pupils are using their laptops in class to play games and as a portal to the Internet’s collection of exam answers, sample essays, social networking and pornography. When institutions attempt to apply security to stop this the students simply hack their way around and then tell everyone else how to do the same.

In my opinion the problem is not the laptop, it’s the software. Or to be more specific: it’s Microsoft’s fault for believing that Windows is the best solution for every environment. It’s not. Someone in the public sector could easily knock up an operating system specifically designed for use in schools that’s flexible enough for teachers to create innovative activities but doesn’t have the built-in ability to access the wider Internet or gaming. There’s no hack around that.

Plus wouldn’t it be a bit cheaper?

Read NY Times Article

Add comment May 4th, 2007


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