The only new functionality with speech is you can now create OneNote notes through voice. Other than that, a developer must add speech functionality to their own 3rd party app. Its quite disappointing that Microsoft hasn't allowed speech-to-text anywhere there is a text field. Its almost as if they said "we don't feel like making speech improvements, so we will make it look like we did by leaving the work up tot the developers to handle this for us (through apps people might not even install to notice the speech improvements) so we can get this Kid's Corner finished!".
For example, a Craigslist app. It would be nice to have a microphone to speak the item I want to find, but the odds of a developer adding speech to an app like that is, IMO, low. So in that case, we wouldn't even get to take advantage of the new speech functionality. Or perhaps an important email I need to respond to while on then road. AskZiggy allows that now, so I can see that being used, but should we really need a third party app for that Microsoft...? Also, as it stands, the speech dictation is horrible. I hope they enhanced the servers or something (even though this a fix that could occur for ALL devices since it would just be a server fix I assume).
The more stuff I see omitted from Windows Phone 8, the easier it has been to not want one of the new devices and wait for 8.5 or w/e. Its almost like Microsoft didn't even take suggestions from the suggestion box and skipped OS enhancements to focus on "big" things (NFC, dual core support, new kernel, etc). While I am really happy to see these new things come, I would have been more impressed to see things fixed in the OS at the same time, which doesn't appear to be the case. I think Microsoft only aimed for those screaming "no dual core" and "no apps", which I understand, but they had plenty of time for OS fixes...