However, this will soon change. Microsoft is bringing voice recognition to the iPhone, albeit indirectly. Back in 2007, the Redmond giant bought Tellme, a company that is known for voice-activated searching, whose software is available for several other phones, including Samsung’s Instinct and various RIM BlackBerry devices. Tellme, which has already developed an Alpha of the software, says a finished version will be out within the fiscal year, which ends in June 2009.
One reason that has taken longer than some had hoped is the lack of a physical "call" button on the iPhone. The Tellme software knows when to start recording when the key bound to record is pushed. Since the iPhone uses a touch screen for nearly everything, the software had to be revamped. The only button available on the iPhone is the home button, which probably wouldn’t play nice with the software. Tellme senior director Dariusz Paczuski said that when the software launches, there will be some sort of big virtual button on the touch screen to control recording.