First Anniversary of Microsoft and L&H Relationship

Microsoft and L & H


REDMOND, Wash.; IEPER, Belgium; BURLINGTON, Mass. —
, Sept. 10, 1998 — Microsoft Corp. and Lernout & Hauspie Speech Products (L & H) today celebrated the first anniversary of their important relationship in support of speech technology. Each company affirmed its commitment to future cooperative development and reviewed the significant progress that was made jointly during the previous year.

“Microsoft’s speech research and Speech API (SAPI) work combined with L & H’s leadership in speech and language technology enables the continued development of breakthrough speech technology solutions for computing and mass market applications,”
said Gaston Bastiaens, president and CEO of L & H.
“The technical skills each party brings to the table are strengthened by a harmonious working relationship. Both companies were successful in delivering against expectations set at the start of their collaboration and look forward to continuing a productive relationship over the coming years.”

“Microsoft is excited to be working closely with L & H to deliver speech technologies and industry-leading APIs that enable the next generation of Windows® -based applications to utilize the power of speech as a natural computer interface,”
said Greg Faust, general manager of the speech and language team at Microsoft.

During the first year of their alliance, Microsoft and L & H completed a number of notable accomplishments:

  • Building the speech technology industry. In support of their ongoing commitment to educate the market regarding the benefits and applications for speech technology, Microsoft and L & H were involved in a number of joint marketing initiatives during the past 12 months:

  • Medical dictation . L & H medical dictation products and Microsoft products were jointly featured in 15 cities from May through June 1998 in a joint medical seminar effort. L & H is expected to be a featured member of the Microsoft Healthcare Users Group (HUG) conference held Oct. 12, 1998.

  • Official Office partner . L & H was highlighted as an official Microsoft Office partner and was featured on the Microsoft Web site, and its technology was demonstrated with the Microsoft Windows 98 operating system during the previous year’s trade shows and conferences.

  • Launch of Windows 98. L & H was a Windows 98 launch partner.

  • SAPI. Microsoft and L & H have collaborated on SAPI feature requirements and worked together to establish SAPI as an industry speech standard. L & H speech engines are all expected to support SAPI standards. Microsoft has licensed the SAPI SDK to L & H, giving L & H full rights to use it in embedded technologies.

  • Technology licensing. Microsoft has licensed L & H’s ASR200 and TTS3000 engines for use on the desktop and in Windows CE-based platforms.

  • Auto PC. Microsoft licensed L & H’s ASR200 and TTS 3000 engines in multiple languages for use in the Auto PC, an in-dash information and entertainment system for audiophiles and business professionals on the go.

  • Expansion of software localization. Over the past year, both companies have expanded on their existing cooperation, and Microsoft has awarded L & H with additional software localization projects.

“Microsoft and L & H are pioneering a world in which voice technology becomes the simple, natural way to interact not only with PCs but with much of the electronic world at large. The two companies are making technology, from computers and handheld devices to homes and automobiles, friendlier and more accessible to a much wider base of users,”
said Jo Lernout, chairman and co-founder of L & H.
“Using voice-enabled automation supported by technologies such as Windows CE and SAPI, we plan to make speech technology as ubiquitous as the telephone is today.”

Building on their joint successes to date, L & H and Microsoft have agreed to future cooperative research and development efforts that will help bring speech and language technology to diverse industries. Work will include enhancements to existing projects as well as efforts in new areas:

  • Linguistic and speech data collection. Microsoft has licensed linguistic data from L & H for use in applications.

  • Machine translation. Both companies are committed to exploring opportunities for Internet translation.

About L & H

Lernout & Hauspie Speech Products (Nasdaq
) is a global leader in advanced speech and language solutions for computers, automobiles, telecommunications, embedded products, consumer goods and the Internet. The company is making the speech user interface (SUI) the keystone of simple, convenient interaction between humans and technology and is using advanced translation technology to break down cultural barriers. L & H’s products and services originate in four basic areas: automatic speech recognition (ASR), text-to-speech (TTS), digital speech and music compression (SMC), and text-to-text (translation). For more information, please visit Lernout & Hauspie on the World Wide Web at .

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

For more information about Microsoft Research’s speech technology efforts, including a downloadable demo of its speech dictation technology and Microsoft’s Speech API, please visit .

Microsoft and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

This news release contains forward-looking information that involves risks and uncertainties, including statements about each company’s plans, objectives, expectations and intentions. Such statements include, without limitation, discussions concerning the ability to accelerate development of certain products. Investors are cautioned that such forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, including, without limitation, the following risks with respect to L & H: L & H’s reliance on customers to generate recurring revenues, the early stage of the speech technology market, the management of growth, the successful integration of L & H’s recent acquisitions, the ability of L & H to develop and successfully market new products, rapid technological change and competition. Such risks are described in greater detail in L & H’s filings with the SEC. The forward-looking statements contained herein speak only as of the date of this news release, and L & H expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any such statement to reflect any change in the company’s expectations or any change in events, conditions or circumstance on which any such statement is based.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. Lernout & Hauspie can be found on the World Wide Web at .

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