Microsoft and Lernout & Hauspie to Accelerate Multilingual Speech-Application Development

REDMOND, Wash., April 5, 2000 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that Lernout & Hauspie (L & H) will lead the adoption of the upcoming Microsoft® Speech Application Programming Interface (SAPI) 5.0. Under an arrangement that will benefit developers and consumers of speech-enabled solutions, Lernout & Hauspie will work to deliver multilingual automatic speech-recognition (ASR) and text-to-speech (TTS) engines for Microsoft SAPI 5.0. The L & H TM ASR1600 automatic speech-recognition engine and the L & H TTS3000 text-to-speech engine, which are used widely by developers for PC and multimedia application development, are planned to be SAPI 5.0-compliant across multiple languages and available through the next release of the Microsoft Speech SDK for development purposes. Developers wishing to commercialize multilingual applications will have the option of obtaining distribution licenses from L & H.

The Microsoft SAPI 5.0 Software Development Kit (SDK) includes the Microsoft SAPI middleware, ASR and TTS reference engines, source files, sample applications, tools and documentation that help both speech engine and application developers build speech solutions.

“SAPI 5.0 is all about making it easier and faster for developers to bring new speech applications to market,”
said Doug Henrich, general manager of the Speech Product Group at Microsoft.
“L & H’s early work in supporting SAPI 5.0 with its speech-recognition and TTS technologies helps ensure much broader market success in delivering speech-enabled applications.”

“Our early support of SAPI 5.0, the availability of our engines through the Microsoft Speech Web site, and our ongoing collaboration with Microsoft on the SAPI feature set demonstrate the continuation of our strategic relationship with Microsoft that helps accelerate the worldwide deployment of speech solutions,”
said Gerald Calabrese, senior vice president of World Wide Sales for L & H.

L & H’s Speech Engines

The L & H PC/MM ASR1600 engine is a software-only phonetic-speech-recognition engine ideal for multimedia and PC applications. The ASR1600 provides high-quality continuous speech recognition with a spectrum of consumer microphones of varying range. The product is speaker-independent and provides accurate recognition, even in noisy environments, without user training.

The L & H PC/MM TTS3000 engine is a software-only text-to-speech engine with a small footprint that is recommended for PC, multimedia and embedded applications. The high-level engine converts any computer-readable text into intelligible, high-quality synthetic speech. The technology is based on algorithms that store actual human voice segments. In-depth, language-specific linguistic knowledge provides intelligent pronunciation of a wide range of inputted text.

About Lernout & Hauspie

Lernout & Hauspie (Nasdaq
; Easdaq
) is a global leader in advanced speech and language solutions for vertical markets, computers, automobiles, telecommunications, embedded products, consumer goods and the Internet. 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 or .

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies 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 is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

L & H is a trademark of Lernout & Hauspie Speech Products N.V.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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