Speak will use Microsoft Agent animated characters to read your text for you. You can tell Merlin (as a character example) to read your documents, e-mails, Web pages, or any text in the clipboard. Just keep the cool animated character on top of your desktop and click on him whenever you want him to read for you. Control the speed and pitch and enjoy many characters with different expressions and animations. In addition, Speak features voice-recognition technology, enabling your computer to accept spoken commands. Voice recognition can be used to launch applications and Web sites, play music, shut down or restart your computer, or just reply. Speak also will remind you of appointments, and the character will try to entertain you by telling jokes, singing, or just yawning and sleeping. You can play WAV files and change voices or languages with the download of extra speech engines.