Microsoft is on a roll as of late, and it’s taking full advantage of its newfound spotlight. Between the success of Microsoft Teams during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the launch of the company’s upcoming Surface Duo smartphone, there’s no shortage of interesting news coming from the makers of Windows.
Why all the buzz about Microsoft? Well, for starters, the company is adding tons of unique tech features into products across the board. Tap or click here to see how Microsoft Word can help you transcribe audio recordings and podcasts into text.
But Microsoft isn’t done adding new features to Windows just yet. In fact, the next Windows 10 update is set to give users access to robust voice typing and instant GIF searches. Here’s what you can expect from Microsoft over the next several months.
Microsoft wants to spice up your keyboard
According to a new blog post by Microsoft Senior Program Manager Brandon LeBlanc, Windows 10 is adding a variety of new input methods for you to take advantage of in the near future. All these programs are still in beta testing for the moment, and there’s no word of an official release date at the moment.
But for now, let’s take a look at what’s on deck for Windows 10. At any rate, it looks a lot more fun than what some of the last few updates included.
Find the perfect GIF for any conversation
Windows 10 will soon be getting an integrated GIF search that can be used wherever you have space to type. By typing WIN + [.] and WIN + [;] on your keyboard, a searchable GIF database will appear for you to search through. The database is powered by Tenor, and will apparently be updated based on popular trends and hashtags on social media.
This GIF search is part of Windows 10’s popular Emoji Picker, which debuted in a previous update to much acclaim. And yes, you’ll be able to store your emoji and GIFs in your clipboard just like any text you copy and paste.
Say what you mean to say
In addition to fun keyboard options like GIFs and emoji, voice typing (and dictation in general) are getting a much-needed coat of paint in an upcoming Windows 10 update. The so-called “new and improved” Windows dictation is optimized to work better with touch keyboards like the kind found on Surface products and includes auto-punctuation and formatting for better accuracy.
If you’ve ever used dictation to spell out an email or text message, you already know how much of a drag it can be to go back and see how your device messed up. In some cases (like with Apple’s Siri) it almost feels like dictation takes even more time than typing due to the need to proofread what your device creates.
But the new Windows dictation feature is making use of better AI and speech recognition to make this possible. In addition, back-end updates will also be consistently available to increase speed and accuracy as development continues.
The overall goal of the new features, LeBlanc said, is to improve the system’s ability to help you communicate via voice and text on your devices. Even though we don’t know for sure when these updates are coming, it’ll at least be fun to try them out when they’re available.
Plus, if you’re brave enough, you can sign up for the Microsoft Insider program and become a beta tester — but we wouldn’t recommend this for most people. The reason: Beta software is often full of glitches, and nobody needs that when the final releases are buggy enough as it is. Maybe that’s why Microsoft expanded its beta program, come to think of it.