IBM Upgrades Speech Offerings, Plans Linux Support

By Matthew Hicks  |  Posted 2004-03-23 Print this article Print

On the opening day of the SpeechTEK trade show, IBM announces upcoming support for Linux in its WebSphere Voice Server and unveils updates to its speech development and middleware software.

SAN FRANCISCO— IBM on Tuesday launched a series of upgrades to its speech technology offerings and announced plans to support Linux in its speech server software during the first day of the AVIOS SpeechTEK Spring 2004 show here. IBM plans to add Linux in the second quarter as one of the supported operating systems for its WebSphere Voice Server, said Igor Jablokov, speech program director for IBM Pervasive Computing. Voice Server, which runs IBMs speech-recognition and text-to-speech engines, currently supports Microsoft Windows and IBM AIX. Along with Linux, WebSphere Voice Server will add support for a proposed standard, called Media Resource Control Protocol, to integrate multiple vendors speech-recognition and text-to-speech engines with the server, Jablokov said.
IBM also rolled out enhancements to its development toolkit for voice applications and its middleware for adding voice support to portals. Its speech software updates joined news earlier in the day that Opera Software ASA plans to launch a multimodal Web browser using IBMs Embedded ViaVoice speech software.
Multimodal functionality allows voice and data interactions to coexist so that a Web browser can handle voice commands or a phone conversation can trigger Web content. Click here to read more about IBMs speech technology launches from the last SpeechTEK show. "A lot of people think speech technology is something in the future," Jablokov said. "(But) speech technologies are deployed today and in existence today." IBMs speech software upgrades all are part of its focus on standards-based speech-application development and deployment, Jablokov said. The Armonk, N.Y., companys news comes a day before rival Microsoft Corp. is set to launch its entry into the speech market with a message that it is moving speech-application development into the mainstream. Microsoft partners ScanSoft and Pronexus are planning to unveil new speech applications for Microsofts Speech Server 2004 launch. Click here to read more. IBM also has taken aim at development. New additions to its speech development toolkit, called the Voice Toolkit for WebSphere Studio, include a call-flow builder that helps non-IT staff build the front-end interface for voice applications, the company said. The WebSphere Studio toolkit is an Eclipse-based development environment that supports VoiceXML. On the portal side, IBM added support for the AIX 5.2 operating system and new customization options to the WebSphere Voice Application Access middleware. It runs with IBMs WebSphere Portal 5.0.2 and adds voice capabilities to enterprise portals. Check out eWEEK.coms Enterprise Applications Center at for the latest news, reviews, analysis and opinion about productivity and business solutions. Be sure to add our enterprise applications news feed to your RSS newsreader or My Yahoo page:  
Matthew Hicks As an online reporter for, Matt Hicks covers the fast-changing developments in Internet technologies. His coverage includes the growing field of Web conferencing software and services. With eight years as a business and technology journalist, Matt has gained insight into the market strategies of IT vendors as well as the needs of enterprise IT managers. He joined Ziff Davis in 1999 as a staff writer for the former Strategies section of eWEEK, where he wrote in-depth features about corporate strategies for e-business and enterprise software. In 2002, he moved to the News department at the magazine as a senior writer specializing in coverage of database software and enterprise networking. Later that year Matt started a yearlong fellowship in Washington, DC, after being awarded an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship for Journalist. As a fellow, he spent nine months working on policy issues, including technology policy, in for a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He rejoined Ziff Davis in August 2003 as a reporter dedicated to online coverage for Along with Web conferencing, he follows search engines, Web browsers, speech technology and the Internet domain-naming system.

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel