Microsoft is now offering voice controls to those using the Windows 11 operating system. The Voice Access feature in Windows 11 allows people to navigate their computer and execute different functions with voice commands instead of mouse and keyboard inputs.
Possible applications of the technology include email dictation, web browsing, and jumping from one app to another. However, it is worth nothing that the voice assistant is not a true voice recognition tool, and therefore cannot be used for biometric authentication.
Microsoft first introduced Voice Access at the tail end of last year. Those who are interested in the feature can activate it during the setup of a new PC, or after the fact if their device is already up and running. In the latter case, they will need to find the Settings menu, and then proceed to the Accessibility sub-menu. From there, they will need to head to Speech and select the Interaction tab, where they will be able to toggle Voice Access on and off as desired.
Anyone who does choose to activate the Voice Access feature will need to download a speech model that enables on-device speech recognition. The technology will give people a way to interact with a Windows device without using their hands, which will presumably unlock new use cases for anyone who likes to multitask at home or at work.
Of course, voice assistants have become increasingly common in a wide variety of connected devices, so it is not terribly surprising to see the technology make its way to Windows PCs. Microsoft itself completed its acquisition of Nuance Communications earlier this year, after previously announcing the $16 billion deal in early 2021. In doing so, Microsoft added a top-rated developer of voice assistant technology to its broader corporate portfolio.