Microsoft Windows Vista to Have Built in Speech Recognition – Great for Healthcare If…

Dr. Bill Crounse and Microsoft Healthcare and Life Sciences HealthBlog has highlighted an announcement that Windows Vista will have Speech Recognition by default for 8 languages. Dr. Counse even says:

Yes, speech recognition has been around for years…… but you’ve never seen anything quite like this. So to all you developers out there, my clinical colleagues are waiting for you. And now you have a better platform on which to build.

I wish that he would be more detailed in what he means by “you’ve never seen anything quite like this.” Having speech recognition built into Windows Vista is a great thing for healthcare IF it works well. It is currently built into Windows XP, but doesn’t work well enough for most doctors. Besides not having a medical dictionary, it just doesn’t work like what it is currently the market leader Dragon Naturally Speaking. This isn’t my personal opinion, but is the opinion of thousands of doctors who have tried it.

The question is whether I really think that Microsoft has spent enough money developing a superior voice recognition software. My initial thought is no. In fact, it kind of goes against their philosophy. Dr. Crounse asked developers to take Windows voice recognition and make it work for doctors. This is Windows business model. They want to provide a platform for other developers to develop. They don’t really want to develop it themselves.

I would say that I never believe in betting against Microsoft. They have too much money to call for the KO already. However, I have a feeling this might be their second knockdown in voice recognition. I hope I’m wrong, because I agree with Dr. Crounse that “Why should you be forced to spend a lot of extra money for a system that may not always work so well with the operating system and applications most people use?”

APOLOGY: I’ve been working on a very important post on Microsoft purchasing Azyxxi. I personally think the purchase is a very important move by Microsoft. Hopefully I’ll have that post ready soon. Sorry for the delay. Too bad I don’t get paid to blog.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of the, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference,, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.


  • If you want to get an overview of some of the types of things you can do with Windows Speech Recognition in Windows Vista, check out this video made by a beta tester:

    It’s true we haven’t optimized this for the medical community. But I know several partner companies that are working on doing just that right now.

    Rob Chambers [MSFT]
    Architect – Windows Speech Recognition – We’re Listening…

    This posting is provided “AS IS” with no warranties, and confers no

  • Rob,
    Thanks for coming to the site to comment. I enjoyed the video and your blog thoroughly. The audio gains issue you describe really was a bad blunder for Microsoft. However, I thought your blog handled the issue well.

    Trust me, I really hope that Microsoft’s voice recognition software becomes better than Dragon Naturally Speaking. Nothing would please me more than having a great voice recognition software bundled with Vista. I would even use it at home for my journal.

    As you said, it’s still not ready for the medical community. Please let us know when your partners have Microsoft voice recognition working for the medical community.

    In fact, do us all a favor and whatever partners get it working best you could buy them out and integrate the medical part into your applicaiton for free.

    Luckily I think I can get my hands on a free version of Vista. You’ve piqued my interest enough that I want to try it myself.

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