Microsoft Preps .Net Speech Platform
Fewer than 100 customers to get early look at Redmond's new server technologies, SDK.NEW YORKOn Wednesday, Microsoft Corp. took another step toward delivering its .Net platform that will allow developers, customers and integration partners to write and deploy speech-enabled applications and Web services. Microsoft announced at the SpeechTEK Expo here an early beta, or technical preview, of its .Net Speech Platform, which it will make available to fewer than 100 selected testers participating in the companys Joint Development Program. The official Beta 1 release of the platform is due out by next summer, with the final .Net Speech Platform offering due by the end of 2003. The .Net Speech Platform a bunch of technologies running on top of Windows Serverincludes a Microsoft speech-recognition engine, a text-to-speech engine, the SALT (Speech Application Language Tags) interpreter, a SALT browser and a telephony interface, among other elements.
Microsofts own product groups are dabbling with the .Net Speech Platform, said James Mastan, director of marketing for .Net speech technologies. He declined to offer specifics, but confirmed that business-to-consumer speech applications might be of interest to the MSN team, while business-to-employee, voice-activated, self-service applications might appeal to the Business Solutions unit that oversees MSCRM, Great Plains and Navision products.