One of the most exciting features for me on Office XP is voice dictation and voice-activated commands. If your computer is outfitted with a speakers, sound card and a microphone (you can also manage with an earphone headset), you can dictate information into your Microsoft applications, such as word and excel. You can also make use of this feature to activate the menu system in most Microsoft Applications.
Requirements to get most out of the Speach feature in Office XP:
To make the Speech feature useful, you will need a fairly high-quality microphone. Microsoft suggests a microphone/headset combination. The speech feature also requires a more powerful computer than the other Office XP applications typically need. Whereas Office XP needs only 32MB of RAM (memory) on a computer using Windows 98/Me (64 MB of Windows 2000).
According to Microsoft a Pentium 2+ with 128 MB RAM is ideal, but with computers going cheap day by day, one can go for Intel Core duo with 1 GB RAM, which is optimum according to me, as a computer exceeding the normal standards get the best out of the Speech feature.