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I really like the speech recognition that comes with Windows 7, but I'm left wondering what this button does:

aforementioned button

It seems to do nothing, and the hover text doesn't really help me much. What does it do?

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I think it means it is listening. What happens when you click it? – cutrightjm Apr 28 '12 at 4:22
    
@ekaj: It seems to do nothing as far as I can tell. But it does seem to stop listening if I click it when it is. – Ullallulloo Apr 28 '12 at 4:57
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@Ullallulloo The button is intended to switch between "Listening" and "Sleeping". However, you'll notice that at times (more often than not), this button, seems to not respond. It's actually a problem that Windows Speech Recognition app has had for years. It just doesn't respond in a timely manner sometimes. – uSeRnAmEhAhAhAhAhA Jan 26 '14 at 13:39
up vote 3 down vote accepted

It starts the listening mode. From http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/Use-Speech-Recognition-to-operate-windows-and-programs

To open Speech Recognition

Open Speech Recognition by clicking the Start button , clicking All Programs, clicking Accessories, clicking Ease of Access, and then clicking Windows Speech Recognition.

Say "start listening" or click the Microphone button to start the listening mode.

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