Speech recognition, and text-to-speech engines, have come a long way since Microsoft's infamous Vista speech recognition presentation.
Microsoft ships text-to-speech engines with its Windows operating systems, and uses it in some of its tools such as Narrator. Other programs may use the voices as well, for instance to provide users with text-to-speech capabilities.
The default text-to-speech engines were improved by Microsoft with new releases of Windows. While that is the case, their output is still clearly identifiable as computer generated.
Speech capabilities are added for the operating system's language by default, but you may add support for other languages in newer versions of Windows to get speech support for these languages as well.
Additionally, you may install third-party languages, language packs, or applications, that add even more voices to the operating system.
It is easy to install a new language in Windows 10:
If you use Windows 8.1, the process of adding a new language to the operating system is different:
|Language (Region)||Windows 10 and Windows 8.1||Windows 8||Name||Gender|
|Chinese (Hong Kong)||Y||N||Tracy||Female|
|Chinese (People's Republic of China)||Y||Y||Huihui||Female|
|English (United States)||Y||Y||Zira||Female|
|English (United States)||Y||Y||David||Male|
|English (Great Britain)||Y||Y||Hazel||Female|
I mentioned earlier that you can add third-party languages to Windows as well. The following list is a small selection of free and open source solutions:
There are also commercial providers. These offer for-personal use packages, and business packages that you may use commercially.
Now You: Do you use text-to-speech apps or services?
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