Microsoft has announced that Edge Dev and Canary insiders can now experience 24 cloud-powered text to speech voices with the Read Aloud feature. It will come as a significant change from the standard version of Microsoft Edge, which features robotic-sounding audio and a complicated process of installing language packs.
These 24 cloud-powered voices are powered by Microsoft Cognitive Services and will be available across 21 locales. Microsoft is using two specific voice styles, neural voices, as well as standard voices. The neural voices will sound the most natural, and some of the standard voices will be in the 24kbps rate to sound clearer.
You can test out these features right now by opening Edge Dev or Canary selecting a block of text, and right-clicking “Read Aloud. Selection” You can then select the different voices from the “Choose a Voice” pop-out menu below the bookmarks bar. There are also additional controls for voice speed.
In case you missed it, a similar read-aloud feature also made its way to Microsoft Edge on iOS, though it’s only available for English pages. Let us know if you’ll be using this new read aloud feature in the comments below.