April 05, 2001, 2:35 PM — Microsoft has licensed speech-recognition technology from SpeechWorks International, the two companies announced Thursday.
Microsoft hasn't said in what products or services it plans to use the Speechify text-to-speech technology, according to a SpeechWorks spokeswoman. Speechify allows text-based information such as e-mail, news, or other dynamic content to be read to telephone callers automatically. It can also be used in speech-activated systems for conducting transactions by phone. America Online and Yahoo have each licensed the technology for use in their phone portals.
Microsoft's release quotes Kai-Fu Lee, vice president of the .NET services group at Microsoft, which would indicate some intent to integrate a Microsoft voice portal into its .NET offerings.