Microsoft unveils .NET speech platform

Microsoft unveiled Wednesday the first technical preview of its .NET Speech Platform and also announced availability of the second beta release of its .NET Speech Software Developer Kit (SDK) at the Speech TEK conference in New York.

As unveiled, the speech platform contains the Microsoft speech recognition engine, the middleware to connect into a telephony system, the SALT (Speech Application Language Tags) interpreter, a SALT voice browser, and the SpeechWorks text-to-speech engine.

The .NET Speech Platform will give developers and customers a foundation to design a single application that can run a speech-enabled application in a variety of venues, including telephony, desktops, and in a multimodal format on mobile devices. The platform is expected to enter beta testing next summer and ship by the end of 2003.

Although still in pre-beta, this is the first real look at Microsoft's speech technology. One industry analyst said it is the first proof point that Microsoft is serious about speech.

"This is more than a toe in the water," said Brian Strachman, senior analyst at In-Stat/MDR in Scottsdale, Ariz.

The second announcement at the show was the release of Beta 2 of the .NET Speech SDK. The .NET in the .NET Speech SDK refers to the fact that the speech developer kit will integrate into Visual Studio.NET, said James Mastan, director of marketing for the .NET Speech Technologies Group in Redmond, Wash.

"Because it fits into the IDE [integrated development environment], a developer can install speech functionality into the rest of the Visual Studio product," Mastan said.

The integration also allows an application that incorporates speech to run on any Web server running Microsoft ASP.NET (Active Server Pages), according to Mastan.

The kit's toolset includes the grammar development tool, a prompt creation tool for creating and managing prompts, a debugging tool, the ASP.NET SALT Web controls, and the add-ins for Internet Explorer for multimodal clients.

The SDK will also include a tool for creating and testing SALT-based telephony-only applications, and will use the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) formats for speech grammar.

"This means all the other applications that conform to the W3C grammar standard can be ported to SALT," said Mastan.

Although deploying speech applications to a large consumer audience has not kept pace with the hype about speech, Strachman said Microsoft will help make the market.

"Even if Microsoft takes a big piece of the pie, it will be good for its competitors because it will be a much bigger pie," Strachman said.

Recent Microsoft partnerships with Intervoice, a leading IVR (Interactive Voice Response) designer, and Intel, a supplier of Dialogic speech boards for telephony, also indicate that Microsoft's speech technology is moving toward mainstream acceptance.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ephraim Schwartz

PC World
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?