MS buys stake in voice firm

Microsoft has confirmed that it is good to talk with a $45m investment in Belgian speech recognition company Lernout & Hauspie (L&H).

The deal gives Microsoft an eight per cent stake in L&H, which although a minority share, gives the company access to leading voice recognition technology. This access will speed-up the inclusion of voice recognition capabilities in future Windows operating systems, although it is unlikely to be included in Memphis.

The deal with Microsoft represents another step in L&H's climbing of the voice technologies market ladder, since its $53m acquisition of Kurzweil Applied Intelligence in June this year.

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