Apple may have the upper leg in the smartphone game when it comes to voice input, following the acclaimed release of Siri for the iPhone 4S, but that’s not to say that Android and Windows Phone don’t have some solid voice support of their own. Windows Phone users who like to take advantage of their phones’ voice-to-text features may be in for a disappointment today, however, as there are widespread reports of users being unable to access the service.
Microsoft bought Tellme a few years back, which powers its voice recognition system. Just like with the voice systems on the other platforms, Microsoft’s implementation requires communication with its Tellme servers in order to function. For some reason, users in certain areas don’t seem able to access those servers lately.
There’s definitely a geographical component to this outage, with complaints so far coming from both the US and Canada. There may be more specific regions affected, but we don’t have the details at the moment. This makes the problem sound like a network connectivity issue, rather than anything wrong with Microsoft’s system itself. That explanation is further supported by reports of users who couldn’t use voice-to-text over WiFi, but it worked on a cellular connection.
For now, Microsoft has yet to officially address these reports.