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Wednesday, November 23, 2011, 01:45 pm PT (04:45 pm ET)

Microsoft says Windows Phones have had Siri-like functionality for over a year

Microsoft's Craig Mundie said that the iPhone's Siri voice recognition software is not new technology as a similar system has been available on the Windows Phone for over a year, and claims Apple marketed the capability to shift focus away from the iPhone 4S's lack of new features.

In an interview last week with Forbes, Microsoft Chief Research and Strategy Officer Craig Mundie said that Siri's capabilities are not Apple-specific, and notes that Windows Phone's similar "Tellme" technology has been functional for over a year.

"The Tellme facility's been in the Windows 7 phone for more than a year," Mundie said. "So I mean I just think people are infatuated with Apple announcing [Siri]."

Mundie goes on to say that Apple's marketing prowess is something that Microsoft could learn from, though he feels that the iPhone maker had to focus on the voice technology due to lack of new features on the iPhone 4S.

"In a sense, you know, many people were disappointed with [Apple's] newest phone because it wasn't a completely new thing, so the only thing they really had to hammer on was that feature," Mundie said. "Maybe we need to pick a feature and hammer on it harder."

The transition from Windows Mobile to the current Windows Phone platform has been difficult for Microsoft, said Mundie. The Redmond, Wash. tech giant had to overcome "errors" in moving from the old OS, which was targeted at enterprise users, to a new consumer driven model.

Mundie hopes that Windows Phone will become a major player in the mobile market, noting the recent partnership with Nokia is "huge" in making the the platform successful.





Craig Mundie interview with Forbes' Eric Savitz at Techonomy Conference | Source: Forbes