Microsoft plans to add speech technology to Exchange Server as part of its unified messaging strategy.
Incorporating speech technology into its messaging and collaboration server will open up an array of services to customers. Workers could listen to their email being read to them by an automated system over a mobile phone, for example.
There are a number of problems to be ironed out first, so Microsoft is cagey about which Exchange release will include speech. One of the main problems is the sheer volume of message, which may require some kind of automated filtering system.
Speech has so far worked best for well-defined tasks with a limited vocabulary, such as automated customer service systems.
Microsoft already offers unified messaging through add-on technology from ISV partners.