Speech technologies will be integrated into future versions of Microsoft Exchange Server.
The company's speech recognition products are currently aimed at call centres and users of interactive voice response systems. But integrating speech technology into Exchange Server will produce a combined voice and e-mail messaging system for businesses.
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"Offering speech-enabled unified messaging capabilities to the millions of Exchange users will go a long way to help achieve the goal of driving speech technology into the mainstream," said Rich Bray, general manager of the Speech Server group at Microsoft.
The announcement came at the annual Speechtek Exposition and Educational Conference in New York last week, where the software giant also announced that more than 60 companies across the finance, retail, healthcare and government sectors had adopted its Speech Server platform for their interactive voice response systems.