Skype Video Messaging Out of Preview - Windows Phone Voice Recognition More Accurate

Skype video messaging now available as a free, full-fledged feature in Skype across the platforms. Windows Phone' Bing-powered voice recognition now faster, more accurate.

Skype video messaging, which came out of preview today is now available as a free, full-fledged feature in Skype for Windows desktop, Skype for Windows 8, Skype for Mac, Skype for iPhone, Skype for iPad, Skype for Android and Skype for BlackBerry.

"The recipient can view your message as soon as they sign into Skype. Skype video messaging is easy and convenient, and only the contact you've chosen to receive your message can view it," writes Skype team.

Here're the steps to recording a Skype Video Message is simple:

  • tap the "video message" button.
  • Next, tap the record button to capture your video message.
  • You can record a message of up to three minutes, which can be previewed prior to sending. If you'd like to, you can delete and re-record until you are completely happy with it.
  • When you are ready, simply click on the envelope icon to send your video message to the recipient.

Watch the demo embedded below to see how you can record and share a personal video message:

Bing's voice recognition features on Windows Phone now improve the speed and accuracy of voice to text and voice search--is now "twice as fast and 15 percent more accurate."

"Now when you compose a text message or search using your voice, Bing will return results twice as fast as before and increase accuracy by 15 percent," bing stated.

This update to Windows Phone does not require a download on your end. In fact, the improvement is made on Microsoft's end. Microsoft has been using some advanced technology to get the Bing voice capabilities to be close to the way humans recognize speech.

"We also made a few improvements under the hood that allowed Bing to more easily identify speech patterns and cut through ambient and background noise - cutting down response time by half and improving the word error rate by 15 percent, even in noisy situations," bing adds.

"To achieve the speed and accuracy improvements, we focused on an advanced approach called Deep Neural Networks (DNNs)." "DNN is a technology that is inspired by the functioning of neurons in the brain. In a similar way, DNN technology can detect patterns akin to the way biological systems recognize patterns," the team added.

Microsoft is helping users to overcome some common Windows 8 activation errors released a new guide. "If you are having problems activating Windows 8 then try our guide Get help with activation errors that covers some of the most common problems and provides you with some solutions to fix," stated Microsoft:

  • Unable to activate Windows 8 Pro with Media Center. (Error code: 0xC004C4AA)
  • Genuine Validation detected tampered Windows binaries. (Error code 0xC004C4AE)
  • A networking problem has occurred while activating your copy of Windows. (Error code 0xC004FC03)
  • The activation server reported that the Multiple Activation Key has exceeded its limit. (Error code 0xC004C020)
  • DNS name does not exist. (Error code 0x8007232B)
  • The filename, directory name, or volume label syntax is incorrect. (Error code 0x8007007B)
  • A security error occurred. (Error code 0x80072F8F)
  • Unspecified error. (Error code 0x80004005)

Read more at Get help with activation errors page.

Also, a of June 16th, there are now 89,333 apps in the Windows Store, an increase of 3,380 apps in just one week.

Microsoft also made the Infoboxes native for Windows Store apps. In a blog post, the company looks at how to create a simple infobox control. "To optimize this application, we will use a common method of having one Infobox control which we will reuse and update rather than creating an infobox for each pushpin we create. This will drastically reduce the number of objects your application will need to render and keep track of," Microsoft stated.

Microsoft also walkthrough example on how to load Spatial Data from SQLite in a Windows Store app.

"Sometimes it can be helpful to hold geospatial data locally and to distribute it with the application. In this example, we will use SQLite to store geospatial information and visualize it as a layer in the Bing Maps Control for Windows Store Apps," Microsoft stated.

"SQLite is a software library that implements a self-contained, server-less, zero-configuration, transactional SQL database engine."

In this first video of Microsoft's new film series "On the Whiteboard," Editor Pamela Woon chats with two-time Oscar winner Randy Thom about the (often underestimated) importance of sound in human-technology interactions.

"On the Whiteboard" focuses on the intersection between technology and culture and introduces the people, places and things behind the product including chimes and beeps that signal you've got a new text message or e-mail waiting on your smartphone.

Check out the first installment of "On the Whiteboard" above and then head on over to the Microsoft News Center to learn more in this feature story.