Microsoft announced that it is acquiring Tellme Networks. Financial details were not disclosed, but analysts peg the cost at around $800 million. Tellme has received more than $230 million in funding, employs 320 people and is profitable. The deal is expected to close by the end of Q2 2007.
From the press release:
This acquisition will mark an important step forward in Microsoft’s strategy for delivering software plus services that put people at the center of technology solutions in the office, at home and on the go. For more than a decade, Microsoft has enabled speech, handwriting and touch as forms of natural user input, making computing and digital devices easier to use. Combining Tellme’s technologies with Microsoft’s existing and future products and services will help improve the way people use voice to find, use and share information:
Unified communications. Tellme’s voice-enabled services and solutions for enterprise customers complement Microsoft’s unified communications voice services portfolio. This will allow customers and industry partners to build highly scalable voice solutions that leverage rich identity, presence, messaging and application integration.
Speech platform. Tellme’s robust voice-enabled platform helps open new doors for Microsoft’s hundreds of thousands of developers and partners to build innovative speech solutions based on open standards.
Mobile services and search. Tellme’s speech expertise and work in mobile search, combined with Microsoft’s innovative local and mobile search offerings, will help take the mobile search usability experience to the next level.
Software plus services. In the long term, Tellme technology will enhance Microsoft’s many voice-enabled applications, including the Windows Vista™ operating system, the Microsoft Office system, and mobile applications such as Windows Mobile and Windows Automotive.
More analysis to follow