IBM shrugs off MS speech deal

IBM UK was today unmoved by Microsoft's $45m investment in speech recognition company Lernout & Herspie (L&H), saying it could be "too hasty" to think about embedding the technology in Windows.IBM's speech product sales and marketing manager Elaine Richards said that "you need to understand the market fully before you can get involved.

IBM UK was today unmoved by Microsoft's $45m investment in speech recognition company Lernout & Herspie (L&H), saying it could be "too hasty" to think about embedding the technology in Windows.

IBM's speech product sales and marketing manager Elaine Richards said that "you need to understand the market fully before you can get involved."

Richards added that IBM's own research and development into speech recognition spans two decades and that the company already boasts half a million users. IBM will in fact be launching an £84 product next week.

"It is interesting to see other companies recognising the speech market but there was no mention of existing or potential product between MS and L&H," she added, dismissing claims that the deal could signal the beginning of the end to a shrink-wrapped speech market.

"Microsoft didn't mention embedding the products but we are confident in our own success, which comes from listening to the market requirements," said Richards.

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