Microsoft Launches Voice Command

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Microsoft plans to release its Voice Command software for personal digital assistants and cell phones Monday, November 3, the company said Wednesday.

Microsoft Voice Command will allow users to issue voice-activated commands to dial contacts or check appointments on their calendars.

The application is designed to work with Microsoft's Windows Mobile 2003 PDA operating system and with Windows Pocket PC Phone Edition software.

Behind the Wheel

Drivers are the primary market for Voice Command, Microsoft said. Several U.S. states have enacted laws regulating cell-phone use while driving, and voice-activated software would allow drivers to keep both hands on the steering wheel and both eyes on the road.

In addition to handling calendars and contacts, Voice Command will permit users to select songs to play on their PDAs or phones by speaking the name of the artist, song, or album, Microsoft said.

Outlook, Internet Explorer, and other software applications can be launched using voice commands, too, the company said.

The software will be available for download from or for $40 starting November 3, Microsoft said.

Information regarding the Voice Command software had leaked onto Web sites maintained by members of the PDA enthusiast community earlier this week, and Microsoft released the information ahead of time in response, a Microsoft spokesperson confirmed.

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