Microsoft launches automatic transcribe for Word online

AI-based service is free to Office 365 subscribers, but comes with a five-hour monthly upload limit

 Microsoft is adding an audio transcription feature to the online version of Word that will be free for Office 365 subscribers.

The new service will allow users to import existing audio files or to record conversations directly into Word before having them automatically transcribed.

Microsoft's transcription feature can capture audio from your PC, which can be MP3 recordings of meetings, phone calls or even YouTube videos. It will also capture audio from your machine's microphone for direct dictation. It has support for up to 200MB of MP3, WAV, M4A or MP4 files.

Once a conversation is transcribed, Microsoft's AI will separate different speakers and break the text into easily readable chunks that will be timestamped for easier playback. Users can then edit and insert these text clippings into a Word document.

The playback element is similar to its text-to-audio service, Immersive Reader, which was launched on 25 August and powered by its Azure AI platform.

AI-powered transcription has grown in popularity in recent years, particularly with apps like Otter.ai, Happy Scribe and Trint, all of which boast high degrees of accuracy when transcribing near-perfect audio, but fall short when it comes to non-US accents.

However, it remains to be seen whether Microsoft's own software is going to be able to draw users away from existing free models, particularly as there's no way to access it outside of Office 365 and usage is capped at 5 hours worth of uploads per month, which is half the upload allowance available on the free tier of Otter.ai.

Transcribe in Word will be available from today and is free for all Microsoft 365 subscribers. It's also supported in the new Microsoft Edge and Chrome browsers. A mobile version for iOS and Android is due later in the year.

The service currently only supports English, although Microsoft said more languages will be made available at a later date.

Gif courtesy of Microsoft Blog

Featured Resources

How to scale your organisation in the cloud

How to overcome common scaling challenges and choose the right scalable cloud service

Download now

The people factor: A critical ingredient for intelligent communications

How to improve communication within your business

Download now

Future of video conferencing

Optimising video conferencing features to achieve business goals

Download now

Improving cyber security for remote working

13 recommendations for security from any location

Download now

Recommended

Microsoft Teams will soon make it easier to switch calls between devices
video conferencing

Microsoft Teams will soon make it easier to switch calls between devices

14 Dec 2020
JetBrains launches collaboration tool targeting software devs
collaboration

JetBrains launches collaboration tool targeting software devs

11 Dec 2020
Basecamp 3 review: More molehill than mountain
project management software

Basecamp 3 review: More molehill than mountain

30 Nov 2020
Zoom review: Are we alone now?
video conferencing

Zoom review: Are we alone now?

29 Apr 2020

Most Popular

How to build a CMS with React and Google Sheets
content management system (CMS)

How to build a CMS with React and Google Sheets

24 Feb 2021
How to find RAM speed, size and type
Laptops

How to find RAM speed, size and type

26 Feb 2021
How to connect one, two or more monitors to your laptop
Laptops

How to connect one, two or more monitors to your laptop

25 Feb 2021