In an interview last week with Forbes, Microsoft Chief Research and Strategy Officer Craig Mundie said that Siri's capabilities are not Apple-specific, and notes that Windows Phone's similar "Tellme" technology has
been functional for over a year.
"The Tellme facility's been in the Windows 7 phone for more than a year," Mundie said. "So I mean I just think people are infatuated with Apple announcing [Siri]."
Mundie goes on to say that Apple's marketing prowess is something that Microsoft could learn from, though he feels that the iPhone maker had to focus on the voice technology due to lack of new features on the iPhone 4S.
"In a sense, you know, many people were disappointed with [Apple's] newest phone because it wasn't a completely new thing, so the only thing they really had to hammer on was that feature," Mundie said. "Maybe we need to pick a feature and hammer on it harder."
The transition from Windows Mobile to the current Windows Phone platform has been difficult for Microsoft, said Mundie. The Redmond, Wash. tech giant had to overcome "errors" in moving from the old OS, which was targeted at enterprise users, to a new consumer driven model.
Mundie hopes that Windows Phone will become a major player in the mobile market, noting the recent partnership with Nokia is "huge" in making the the platform successful.Update, 5:10 p.m. PT:
In a blog post today, Stephen Baker, vice president of the NPD Group's Industry Analysis unit, reported preliminary results from NPD's Anatomy of Black Friday study. Among the findings:
Almost 65 percent of tech shoppers actually ponied up for a product because they found it on sale, and 28 percent took advantage of big sales at a specific retailer they had targeted. Totals in both those categories were about 50 percent higher than the corresponding totals for shoppers overall, and both the tech totals reflected a 10 percent increase year over year.
Electronics continued to be the second most popular category, after clothing, with more than 23 percent of Black Friday shoppers buying some type of electronic gadget--15 percent more than last year and 50 percent higher than the third most popular category, toys.
TVs saw their popularity leap 30 percent from last year, and they overtook computers as the most popular electronics product (excluding purchases of video games from the computers category).
Big-screen TVs seemed to be preferred to their smaller-screen brethren, with 26 percent of Black Friday tech shoppers saying they plan to spend more than $1,000 during the holidays. That's 10 percent more than last year and compares with 19 percent of overall shoppers who said they planned to spend that much.