Microsoft Acquires Entropic, an Innovator in Speech Technologies

REDMOND, Wash., Oct. 29, 1999 — Committed to making speech a powerful, reliable method of interaction for Microsoft® Windows® platforms, Microsoft Corp. today announced it has acquired Entropic Inc., a worldwide leader of software and toolkits for speech recognition. Entropic’s proven expertise in speech recognition, dialogue development and telephony integration technologies will complement Microsoft’s ongoing efforts to facilitate speech-enabled applications, promote speech technologies and specifically advance server-based telephony solutions.

Entropic’s engineering team will help Microsoft enhance its speech application programming interface (SAPI), a reliable, open set of speech APIs for both speech engine and application developers. With SAPI, developers are able to use a rich programming model that utilizes Component Object Model (COM) to more easily develop speech-enabled applications, while customers benefit from a broad choice of speech-recognition and synthesis engines provided by various third-party speech vendors.

Entropic is best known for its industry-leading speech R & D software toolkits, including ESPS/waves+ and HTK.
“We’re excited that Microsoft shares our vision for providing telephony access to speech-enable the Web and make it ubiquitous for all types of users,”
said John Shore, founder and vice chairman of Entropic.

Before the acquisition, Entropic was in the midst of a successful campaign toward a second round of financing.
“The Microsoft acquisition will enable us to execute our strategy, allow our technology to reach a larger market and do so more quickly than would have been possible had we remained a standalone company,”
said Paul Finke, president and CEO of Entropic.

“Entropic brings expertise and an established track record in developing and shipping world-class speech technology and development toolkits,”
said Doug Henrich, manager of the Speech Product Group at Microsoft.
“The Entropic team will help us broaden our API effort to include server-based telephony scenarios and begin integrating that knowledge into existing Microsoft products.”

Professor Steve Young, Entropic’s vice president of engineering and chief scientist, will continue to drive efforts in the Cambridge, England, office while maintaining his association with Cambridge University as chair of its Speech, Vision and Robotics Group. The arrangement expands Microsoft’s involvement with Cambridge, which includes a Microsoft Research facility.

Most of Entropic’s engineering employees currently based either in the Washington, D.C., headquarters or the Cambridge office will either relocate to Redmond or continue to work in the Cambridge office. The Washington, D.C., office will close; the Cambridge office will remain open to support its research and development efforts and its partnership with Cambridge University. Brian Corbett, Entropic’s chief operating officer, will stay on board for a limited time to assist with customer transition issues. John Shore and Paul Finke will pursue other opportunities.

The Entropic acquisition is part of Microsoft’s long-term commitment to delivering speech technology in Microsoft products. Over the past several years, Microsoft has made significant investments in building world-class development teams, opening research efforts worldwide, and working with other leading companies such as Lernout & Hauspie.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software – any time, any place and on any device.

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.

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.

Related Posts