Voice typing is coming soon to Outlook for the web, but not everybody will be able to use it.
- Microsoft will soon introduce the dictation feature to Outlook for the web, allowing users to draft emails using their voice.
- The dictation capability is powered by Microsoft Azure Speech Services and requires a stable internet connection to convert speech into text.
- The ability to use your voice for drafting and sending emails in Outlook for the web is expected to be available next month.
Microsoft Outlook is going through major changes with the software giant attempting to unify Windows, Web, and Mac codebases for its email clients. Besides behind-the-scene changes, Microsoft is also looking to bridge the feature gap across different Outlook clients. The company’s latest effort in that direction is adding the dictation feature to Outlook for the web.
Support for dictation in Outlook for the web means that users will be able to use the voice to draft their emails and send replies. The speech-to-text service is powered by AI-based Microsoft Azure Speech Services, which also happens to be powering the voice typing capability in Windows 11. As is the case in Windows 11, you’ll need a stable internet connection to convert your speech into text in Outlook web, as confirmed by Microsoft while describing the feature (with ID number 171199) on the Microsoft 365 Roadmap page.
Being able to draft emails is not new to Outlook users. In fact, Outlook mobile apps and its desktop clients already have support for voice typing. And now, it’ll be available for the Outlook web client. We may also see dictation in action in the new Outlook for Windows, which is a web app currently available in preview.
The tentative timeline for the dictation feature to start rolling out is in October this year. And if it becomes available to all next month, you’ll need a microphone to start using voice typing in Outlook. That said, a microphone may not be built into your PC. However, if you purchase any of the best laptops, you won’t have to buy the microphone separately.
However, dictating emails in Outlook is currently available only to Microsoft 365 subscribers. You’ll need to pay the subscription fee to use your voice for drafting and sending emails, irrespective of the platform you’re using Outlook on. Although Microsoft hasn’t officially confirmed it, dictation in Outlook web will likely require the Microsoft 365 paid subscription.