Microsoft to launch Voice Command for PDAs

Microsoft plans to release its Voice Command software for PDAs (personal digital assistants) and mobile phones Monday, the company said Wednesday.

Microsoft Voice Command will allow users to dial contacts or check appointments on their calendars through voice-activated commands. It is designed to work with Microsoft's Windows Mobile 2003 PDA operating system or the Windows Pocket PC Phone Edition software.

Drivers are expected to be the primary market for Voice Command, Microsoft said, as the software would allow drivers to keep both hands on the steering wheel and both eyes on the road.

In addition to calendars and contacts, Voice Command will also allow users to play songs on their PDAs or phones by speaking the name of the artist, song or album, Microsoft said. Applications such as Outlook, Internet Explorer and other software can also be launched using voice commands, the company said.

The software will be available for download from Handango.com or PocketPC.com for US$39.95 on Monday, Microsoft said.

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

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