Microsoft Unveils Road Map for Speech Server 2007

REDMOND, Wash. —  Microsoft Corp. disclosed the road map and first set of features of its upcoming release of Microsoft® Speech Server 2007.

"Enterprise purchasing criteria is changing. More businesses today, than ever before, are making telephony and IT-based decisions regarding IVR platform technology to secure investments," said Daniel Hong, senior voice business analyst at Datamonitor plc. "Microsoft's support for both VoiceXML and SALT, in addition to key integrations with its tooling assets, provides Speech Server customers with a greater level of flexibility and investment protection across multiple infrastructures and applications. This enables organizations to choose and build an IVR solution that can seamlessly fit into their existing environments."

Speech Server 2007 will provide full support for Speech Application Language Tags (SALT) and Voice Extensible Markup Language (VoiceXML), which will enable customers to choose the development standard that will work best in their environment.

With the newly included VoiceXML support, customers will be able to write World Wide Web Consortium's VoiceXML 2.1-compliant applications within Microsoft Visual Studio® 2005 and deploy those applications, or existing VoiceXML 2.1-compliant applications, on Speech Server 2007. Microsoft has also joined the VoiceXML Forum (http://www.voicexml.org) at the Promoter level.

"The VoiceXML Forum is an open industry group with diverse membership. Microsoft's interest in VoiceXML and the VoiceXML Forum is yet another indicator of the continued growth and success of VoiceXML in the marketplace. The Forum welcomes Microsoft as a new Promoter member," said Ken Rehor, chairman, Voice XML Forum.

Among the new features, Speech Server 2007 introduces a Microsoft .NET Framework-based application programming interface (API) for low-level access to core Speech Server functionalities. Companies can build applications on the Speech Server API using widely known programming languages such as JavaScript and C#, reducing time and development cost.  Speech Server 2007 will include native support for voice over IP (VoIP), and the platform will natively support Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and Real-Time Transport Protocol (RTP) as core communications protocols  Additionally, Speech Server 2007 will support traditional time division multiplexing (TDM) or hybrid IP/TDM environments.

Speech Server 2007 will introduces the Speech Server Analytics Studio and Speech Server Business Intelligence Tools to provide companies with usage reports.

The Speech Server Analytics Studio will provide a variety of predefined reports containing details of common scenarios. The reports provide the opportunity to drill down from a high-level results analysis to actual call events and audio files.

Speech Server Business Intelligence Tools provide managers with a long-term view of caller behavior by creating blocks of large volumes of caller data that can be reviewed using online analytical processing (OLAP).

Beginning in May, beta testers will have the opportunity to preview and provide feedback on Speech Server 2007, which is planned for release in late 2006. Speech Server 2007 is Microsoft's next-generation speech and telephony platform.

The entire release of this morning's announcement is available here.

For a related article on the licensing agreement with Vocalocity, please click here.

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