On the Go, Running Errands or Waiting in Line, Study Shows Smartphone Users Prefer Using Their Voice to Typing or Touching

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. —July 29, 2009 —A study released today reveals that smartphone users are more inclined to buy a device that offers them the ability to push one button, say what they want and get it, making them more efficient on the go. The research, conducted by Sanderson Studios for Tellme Networks Inc., a Microsoft subsidiary, shows that 75 percent of people would choose a smartphone that allows them to compose a text message, search the Web or dial a contact simply by speaking, rather than by typing or using a touch screen. The study also reveals that cell phone etiquette seems to be evolving, with an overwhelming majority of respondents saying they would feel comfortable using voice to perform tasks in places such as a restaurants and gyms.

Most people use smartphones while conducting other tasks in order to make better use of their time. Those surveyed say they use their smartphones while shopping or running errands (88 percent), waiting at appointments (80 percent), walking between places
(78 percent), visiting friends (68 percent) and in many other places, such as while eating at restaurants, commuting, exercising or attending school. While typing and touching are not perceived as difficult, respondents acknowledge that using their smartphones in these situations can be distracting. If given the option to simply push a button and speak to call or text a friend or search for information, such as the location of a restaurant, directions or stock quotes, most say they could accomplish more and feel less distracted.

“If you’ve ever tried typing or touching on your smartphone while walking down the street or paying at the checkout line, you know how distracting it can be,” said Anne Truscott, brand strategist at Sanderson Studios. “But using your voice while walking or checking out is like walking and chewing gum at the same time; it just comes naturally. And we were surprised how many people said they’d feel comfortable using their voices to interact with their smartphones while in public places as well.”

If this study is any indication, it seems that cell phone etiquette is changing. While some respondents said they would feel awkward using their voice with their smartphone at a restaurant, 71 percent said they would feel just fine doing so. An overwhelming majority of respondents said they would feel comfortable using voice to perform tasks on their smartphones while walking (93 percent), exercising (92 percent), and shopping or running errands (87 percent).

Not surprisingly, studies also show that the ability to use voice to perform tasks and get information while in the car is also very popular. In another study performed by Sanderson Studios, people who spend at least one hour in their car five or more days per week while regularly using their phone overwhelmingly like the idea of using their voice to get what they need (90 percent). Convenience and safety were cited as key reasons these respondents wanted to use their voice to perform tasks while driving.

“The research is confirming what we believed would happen as people more widely use smartphones to multitask while on the go, away from the home or office,” said Dariusz Paczuski, senior director of Tellme Mobile Speech at Microsoft. “Our ‘say what you want and get it’ voice products and services are making it easier to get more done with your phone no matter where you are or what you’re doing.”

Tellme is already integrated into the Ford SYNC™ Service Delivery Network, the in-vehicle communications and entertainment system developed by Ford and Microsoft Corp. that allows playing music, making hands-free phone calls and getting traffic, directions and information all with the power of their voice. Tellme also announced the first mobile voice service to combine content and communications, due out on Windows Mobile 6.5 phones this fall.

About Tellme

Tellme (http://www.tellme.com) fundamentally improves how people use the phone by providing services that allow people to use the power of voice to access the people and information they care about. Tellme makes it possible to simply say what you want and get it. Today Tellme powers billions of calls every year and is used by more than 40 million people every month. Located in Mountain View, Calif., Tellme is a Microsoft Corp. subsidiary.

Tellme plays an exciting role in achieving Microsoft’s vision around the limitless potential of voice as a way to find information, connect with people and enhance business processes, any time and from any device.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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