Microsoft Speech Server Enters Final Beta
The Microsoft Speech Server, the newest addition to the Windows Server System, is aimed at broadening the reach of speech recognition and text-to-speech applications in enterprises, particularly small- and medium-sized companies, said James Mastan, director of marketing for Microsofts speech technologies group. A full release of the server software and the Microsoft Speech Application Software Development Kit (SASDK), a set of tools for building speech applications in Visual Studio .NET, is expected in the spring of 2004.
Microsoft, of Redmond, Wash., began a
With the beta 2 of the Speech Server, Microsoft has fine-tuned its speech recognition engine and updated its support of ScanSoft Inc.s Speechify Text-to-Speech Engine to version 3.0 of that product, Mastan said.
The new beta release also includes enhancements to the Microsoft Management Console for the Speech Server, a common management interface across Windows Server
Microsoft Speech Server supports Speech Application Language Tags (SALT), a proposed speech standard backed by Microsoft. The latest beta version includes an updated SALT interpreter that supports the running of multiple speech-enable Web applications on the Speech Server.
"Now you can have multiple applications on the Web server that will work with a particular speech server," Mastan said.
Microsoft has touted its model of separating the speech technology engines on one server from the speech-enabled Web applications on a Web server as a key differentiator. Officials also said the Speech Server will support telephony-based speech as well as multimodal applications, where a voice command over the phone could trigger a graphical response on a Web browser across multiple devices.
Among other things, the fourth beta of the SASDK builds greater multimodal capabilities with an update of the speech add-in for the Microsoft Pocket Internet Explorer. The plug-in makes the mobile browser speech aware. The latest beta allows developers to better control application response to changes in the network, Mastan said.
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