back to article My crow soft adds audio transcription to premium Word Online... Only joking. It's pretty good if a bit on the slow side

Microsoft has added audio transcription to the paid-for version of Word Online, the in-browser edition of its ubiquitous word processor. Back in June 2018, Microsoft added dictation support to Word, Outlook, and OneNote online. Now the company has added transcription alongside it. Transcribing audio is a thankless but critical …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Does it work in

    Scottish elevators yet?

    1. lostsomehwere

      Re: Does it work in

      No there's no material available for testing :

  2. SW10

    Not undeleted in unwiped storage that isnt ours

    Can anyone help me with the difference between the Micros~1 phrase:

    “ are not stored by our service”

    ...and my preferred phrase:

    “are deleted”?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not undeleted in unwiped storage that isnt ours

      They'll crash anyway, so no worries. :)

    2. macjules

      Re: Not undeleted in unwiped storage that isnt ours

      "Your audio files will be sent to Microsoft and used only to provide you with this service."

      © 2020 Facebook, Inc.

  3. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge


    When My crow soft trains the Scots transcription service, they'd better not use the Scots Wikipedia...

  4. jmch Silver badge

    Local dictation

    I'm still sceptical about sending audio to the cloud for dictation. Is it really that difficult to do it locally given the power of modern computers and smartphones?

    Yes I understand transcription is more difficult since there are different speakers not just one familiar one, but still...

    Does dragon dictate work local-only? (or does anyone have any recommendations for a local-only dictation software)

    1. Fursty Ferret

      Re: Local dictation

      Depends. If your PC is reminiscent of a modern data centre running a neural network analysis on the recording, sure. Otherwise, it's off to the Cloud. ;-)

      Surprising to the see the series of random capitalised Letters in the Style of Trump and his Tiny brain.

    2. Mage

      Re: Local dictation

      Local voice dictation to text is over 20 years old as purchased package. Available free for over 15 years.

      The main reason to use the cloud is allegedly to train the recognition engine's database (there is no real AI, it's just pattern matching). The real reason why it's now promoted as something in the cloud?

      1. Fursty Ferret

        Re: Local dictation

        Transcription is very different to dictation.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    You are completely unlimited in how much you can record and transcribe within Word for the Web

    The forgot to add

    "and pass on to us for incorporation into our services."

    That will be the data slurping services naturally.

  6. Mage

    Added dictation

    Available as free OS plug in to work with anything since XP and in MS Office since 2003? Without a corporate possibly storing it and no online connection needed.

    Also on Mac and Linux for years.

    Possibly also on iOS and Android, though the Android one seems to send everything to Google first.

    1. Lazlo Woodbine

      Re: Added dictation

      Dictation yes, Transcription is different, as there'll be different people speaking from different parts of the room, this is a much tougher task

  7. The Bobster

    Eat up Martha.


  8. a_yank_lurker

    What Accents

    Given the Rejects of Redmond constant failure to grasp most English speakers (native and non-native) do not speak with a West Coast US accent I am dubious about the accuracy of the transcriptions and how much time will be wasted cleaning up the trash produced by the 'service'. I work for a multinational company and with some regularity I speak with people who have a variety of accents (Scots, Irish, US Southern, German, Norwegian, Indian are just a few). As a nominal native speaker, some accents require me to pay very close attention to the speaker to understand them.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like