Microsoft licenses text synthesis technology

By George A. Chidi, IDG News Service |  Software

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.

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