Unlike some smartphones we know, phones running WinMo 6.5 will get a pretty amazing connected voice command interface, courtesy of Microsoft subsidiary TellMe.
There are already TellMe apps out there, where the service listens to requests—search queries or requests for other data—and carries them out online. BlackBerry and Sprint Instinct have them, and the newest Ford Sync system uses TellMe for traffic data too. But in WinMo 6.5, TellMe isn't just an app, it's a one-button hub for voice commands of all kinds, including text messaging, making calls, and also jumping to Microsoft Live Search with natural language queries like "weather in San Francisco, California," "pizza in Kansas City" or "mother's day gift ideas."
Microsoft has long been big on the voice command thing, with PocketPC versions of it dating back five or more years, so it makes sense that they'd make a bigger push with Windows Mobile 6.5 than others have done. Things are also more connected now, so it also makes sense that a new voice command system would blur the line between what's happening on the phone itself (texting, etc.) and what's happening in the wireless cloud (searches, etc.).
I am a huge fan of voice commands, and am still pissed off that Apple has ignored their safety benefits, as well as their convenience, in iPhone development, and I'm glad to see at least one of the power hitters pushing the idea towards the next logical stage.
The service will be free at WinMo 6.5 launch, either as a download from the awkwardly named Windows Marketplace for Mobile, or pre-embedded by the carrier or handset maker. [TellMe]
TellMe promo video: