Microsoft Preps Voice Command Launch

The new voice recognition software will allow users of Windows Mobile 2003 handheld and smart phones to access applications through speech.

Microsoft Corp. is revving the launch of new voice recognition software for handhelds and smart phones that will allow users to speak commands to access information and launch applications.

The Redmond, Wash., software maker on Monday will release the Voice Command software, which works on devices using the Windows Mobile 2003 operating system, a company spokeswoman said on Wednesday.

The software will support voice-activated commands for Microsoft Outlook contacts and calendar appointments so users can find phone numbers or confirm a meeting; for Windows Media Player so users can play music by saying commands such as "Play Beatles;" and for launching applications such a Word or the Outlook inbox without needing to use a stylus, the spokeswoman said

News of the impending unveiling leaked earlier this week on the Web site, a company spokeswoman said, which led the company to provide early details of the launch.

Development of Voice Command grew out of work in Microsofts automotive business unit, which realized that drivers need a safe way to interact with their mobile devices while theyre on the road, she said.

Voice Command will be available for $39.95 from

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