Microsoft to License SpeechWorks’ Speechify Engine

REDMOND, Wash., April 5, 2001 — Microsoft Corp. today announced a licensing agreement with SpeechWorks International Inc. (Nasdaq
), a leader in the network-based speech technology industry. Under the agreement, Microsoft licensed SpeechWorks’ Speechify text-to-speech (TTS) engine, a technology that makes it possible for text-based information such as e-mail, news and other dynamic content to be read to callers automatically. Due to its highly natural sound quality, the Speechify engine can improve speech-activated services that allow consumers to obtain information and complete transactions over any phone.

“This agreement with SpeechWorks, an innovative speech technology leader, is consistent with Microsoft’s vision for empowering people any time, any place and on any device,”
said Kai-Fu Lee, vice president of the .NET Services Group at Microsoft.
“The Speechify text-to-speech engine has established itself as a leading technology for converting text to speech for telephony service users.”

SpeechWorks’ technology aims to have content as accessible from mobile devices as it is from today’s computer-based Web browsers.

“We are pleased that Microsoft has chosen to license our technology,”
said Stuart R. Patterson, CEO of SpeechWorks.
“Microsoft’s selection of SpeechWorks is an exciting endorsement of our speech technologies as the interface of choice for mobile phones and other devices.”

In addition, SpeechWorks’ Speechify text-to-speech engine will support the latest version of the Microsoft® speech application programming interface (SAPI 5.0) in order to help a large number of existing SAPI developers

support telephony speech applications and services.

We are pleased to see SpeechWorks support

SAPI 5.0, an open
speech platform that brings application developers and engine developers together to expedite speech application deployment,”
said Lee.

About SpeechWorks

Organizations worldwide rely on SpeechWorks (Nasdaq
) to delight their callers and provide them with a new level of service over the phone. Complementing the self-service model of e-business, SpeechWorks speech recognition solutions, including the revolutionary SpeechSite product, Speechify text-to-speech engine and SpeechSecure authentication module, let customers direct their calls, obtain information and complete transactions automatically, simply by speaking naturally over any phone, any time.

SpeechWorks customers include some of the world’s most sophisticated customer service innovators such as America Online, First Union National Bank, Microsoft, Thrifty Car Rental and United Airlines. SpeechWorks is headquartered in Boston and has offices around the world. Learn more about the speech industry at , a free Web event on May 2.

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.

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

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