Microsoft’s latest experimental app adds voice dictation to Office

Initially built as a prototype during an annual Microsoft hackathon, the project quickly grew its fan base with more than 1,500 employees in more than 40 countries.Dictate supports more than 20 languages for dictation, plus real-time translation to 60 languages. The latest one is called the “Dictate”, and true to its name all it does is take dictation and convert the same into text. Punctuation is also easily managed with voice control. A new app add-on from Microsoft Garage, the company’s arm for experimental projects, will bring the next-level speech recognition system used by Cortana to transcribe your words in Outlook, Word, and PowerPoint.An introductory video posted this morning to YouTube offers a preview of how the software works in Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook. Just adjust some of the settings and Dictate will type a translation of what you speak. Simple statements like “new line”, “delete” and “stop dictation” let you manipulate the cursor and correct the text with your voice. Available as an add-in for Microsoft’s software, Dictate is powered by the same speech recognition technology that Cortana uses in order to convert your speech to text. You can use spoken commands to add punctuation, new lines, and some editing and formatting features, or test the AI’s accuracy with an auto-punctuation feature.The add-in works on Office 32-bit and 64-bit, and requires that users are on Windows 8.1 or later, Office 2013 or higher, and the.Net framework 4.5.0 or later. However, the apps for both are different and the user will need to verify the version before downloading the app.