There's a great article out on the Windows Vista beta experience portal showcasing Windows Speech Recognition by Richard Costall entitled "Look, no hands". I especially liked his demonstration of using Visual Studio 2005 via speech. In it, he points out several frustrations that I have also experienced using the program, but he proves that there are many excellent features in Windows Speech Recognition that can be used to sidestep some of Visual Studio's accessibility issues. In fact, he highlights the use of the Start Typing command as his means of actually coding the obligatory "Hello, World" application that he is demonstrating. If you're interested in more details on using the Start Typing command, be sure to take a look at my earlier post as well.
As an individual with a physical disability who touts speech recognition so much, I occasionally get asked how I ever use the computer without having speech recognition available (since I cannot move my arms well enough to operate a standard physical keyboard)? This is a good question, since speech recognition is not one of the most portable tools around. For example, I've never come across a public computer at a library or hotel that was set up with a good microphone and sound card combo, which are necessities for using speech recognition. So, when the necessary hardware is unavailable, that means I have to look for software to simulate it--in this case, the On-Screen Keyboard . The On-Screen Keyboard is nothing new to Windows; it's been one of the standard accessibility tools for several versions now, not just Vista. It's pretty simple, really, but is extremely useful for users like me who cannot utilize a traditional physical keyboard. Basically, the On-Screen Keyboard a