New Outlook for Windows Now Lets Users Dictate Emails

Outlook – 5

Key Takeaways:

  • Microsoft has released voice dictation capabilities for Outlook for Windows and Outlook on the web.
  • The voice typing feature is already available in Outlook for Windows and Mac clients.
  • The service supports over 50 languages and maintains privacy by not storing speech data.

Microsoft has started rolling out voice dictation capabilities to new the Outlook for Windows and Outlook on the web. The voice typing feature, which is powered by AI-based Microsoft Azure Speech, is already available in the Outlook for Windows and Mac clients.

Microsoft Outlook uses text-to-speech technology to help users write emails and send responses. However, users will need to ensure their PC has a microphone and a reliable Internet connection. Microsoft says that the service does not store any speech data or transcription results.

“The Dictate feature removes typing constraints and harnesses the power of AI-backed voice commands to help you effortlessly articulate your messages. It currently supports over 50 languages and ensures your thoughts flow freely, transforming the way you communicate,” Microsoft explained.

It’s important to note that Windows 10 and 11 come with built-in dictation features. However, some apps offer their own native dictation options. The addition of voice dictation support aims to improve discoverability, especially for non-power users.

To try out the Dictate feature, you will need to create a new email or reply to an existing conversation. Then, place the cursor within the message body, select Message, and click the Dictate option. Once the Dictate option is enabled, you can begin speaking to view the spoken words on the screen.

Voice dictation limitations

As of this writing, the dictation feature supports over 50 languages, including English, French, Korean, Turkish, Russian, Chinese, and Arabic. However, Microsoft has acknowledged that some preview languages may have limited punctuation support and lower accuracy.

Furthermore, the new Outlook for Windows and Outlook on the web lack support for some dictation settings available in the existing Outlook desktop app. For instance, choose a microphone, disable the profanity filter, and auto-punctuation.

In related news, Microsoft is working on a new feature that will allow users to select a specific folder when saving attachments in new Outlook for Windows. This capability will start rolling out to all commercial customers in January 2024.