Text-to-speech technology will be featured in a range of Redmond's server products, beginning with Speech Server 2004.
The voice recognition software specialist prepares to upgrade its application for corporate phone systems, adding 40 languages and even the ability to adapt to accents.
As well as converting PDFs into audio files, ScanSoft update offers tools for disabled users and archival standards.
Though the companies sell competing products, they strike new deals and expand existing ones with the hope of expanding the market for speech technology.
ScanSoft got a $5 million investment from its largest institutional investor, the State of Wisconsin Investment Board. The Peabody, Mass.-based ScanSoft, which trades on Nasdaq, will give 4.76 million shares to the state organization in exchange for the investment. ScanSoft's software allows customers to edit and share documents and photos electronically.
Combining the complementary strengths of the two digital scanning software firms creates a digital imaging company with considerable reach.
Next Monday, ScanSoft will bring out the second version of its imaging and document management suite, Pagis Pro 2.0. Targeted at home and small office users, the new application from the Xerox company will be the first to combine OCR (optical character recognition), document imaging, color copying, and PhotoSuite editing software from MGI, according to ScanSoft. The software will cost $99 at retail outlets.