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Microsoft acquires speech recognition software maker

The software maker buys Entropic to help its push for the development of speech-enabled applications and the advancement of server-based telephony products.

    Microsoft today acquired Entropic, a speech recognition software maker, in an effort to boost its position in the speech technology market.

    The software giant said Entropic, which develops software and tools for speech recognition, will help Microsoft in its push for the development of speech-enabled applications and the advancement of server-based telephony products.

    Speech technology applications enable desktop and handheld computer programs to recognize and respond to spoken commands. Microsoft has been moving to deliver speech technology in its products through recent investments and partnership agreements.

    Financial terms were not disclosed.

    Under the deal, Washington-based Entropic said its engineering team will help Microsoft improve its speech application programming interface, a series of speech application programming interfaces (APIs) that essentially consist of functions that programs can use to make the operating system do various tasks, such as, opening windows, files, and message boxes along with more complex tasks.

    "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," Microsoft speech product group manager Doug Henrich said in a statement.

    With the acquisition, Entropic chief executive Paul Finke and founder and vice chairman John Shore will pursue other opportunities, the companies said. Brian Corbett, Entropic's chief operating officer, will remain on the board for a limited time to assist in the transition. The companies said most Entropic employees based in the Washington headquarters, which the companies plan to close, or its Cambridge, England, office will either relocate to Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Washington, or remain in the Cambridge office.