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Intel and Microsoft Collaborate on SALT

Intel and Microsoft Collaborate on Development of Speech Application Language Tags (SALT)-based Speech-Enabled Web Solutions

Initiative to Bring Microsoft and Intel Speech Software and Hardware Technologies to Enterprise and Channel Customers

Orlando, FL, USA. October 14, 2002.

Today at the Intel Communications Summit 2002, Intel Corp. and Microsoft Corp. announced that the two companies are developing enabling technologies and a reference design for the deployment of speech-enabled Web solutions in the enterprise based on the Speech Applications Language Tags (SALT) specification. The scope of the technical collaboration and reference design will include the Microsoft .NET Speech platform along with standards-based Intel communications building blocks which include Intel Architecture servers, Intel NetStructure communications boards and Intel telephony call management interface software.

SALT-based speech-enabled Web solutions from this collaborative effort will enable enterprise customers to more easily and economically build and deploy speech applications, and will offer channel customers, such as independent software vendors (ISVs), original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), value-added resellers (VARs) and systems integrators (SIs), a convenient and cost-effective foundation to construct telephony and multimodal speech application systems for their enterprise customers.

"By using the Microsoft .NET speech platform running with Intel Architecture servers and Intel. NetStructure (TM) communication boards, we will broaden the reach of speech-enabled applications so that customers have immediate and easy access to speech-enabling technology that can be used to reduce cost, enhance revenues and improve business agility," said Howard Bubb, vice president at Intel and general manager of the Network Processing Group. "The use of standards-based Intel and Microsoft technologies in the reference design brings the element of modularity to the solution, and provides higher performance, lower development costs and quicker time to market for resulting products."

"Microsoft and Intel have a common desire to make development and implementation of speech systems faster, easier and more economical for enterprise customers," said Kai-Fu Lee, vice president of the Natural Interactive Services Division at Microsoft. "The combined expertise and experience of Microsoft and Intel in the development of speech hardware and software will help companies take advantage of leading-edge speech technologies to provide rich, value-added services and an enhanced customer experience simply by extending their existing Web-based infrastructure and business applications."

The use of Intel telephony building blocks and the Microsoft .NET Speech platform will help customers more quickly and easily speech-enable Web solutions, and will offer an open, flexible and extensible speech system to a broad customer base. The parties will develop and test their respective technology components and the reference design so that they can be used by developers to build speech-enabled Web applications for the enterprise market segment. Together, Microsoft and Intel will also engage in joint sales and marketing activities focused toward their respective enterprise and channel customers, distributors, technology partners, ISVs and the Web developer community.

Speech Application Language Tags (SALT) Specification

The SALT specification defines a set of lightweight tags as extensions to commonly used Web-based programming languages and is strengthened by incorporating existing standards from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). Developed by the SALT Forum, the SALT 1.0 specification was submitted to the W3C under royalty-free terms in August. SALT is designed for both telephony and multimodal Web applications, and will enable access to Web-based information, applications and services from a wide range of devices including PCs, telephones, cell phones, wireless personal digital assistants (PDAs), Pocket PCs and Tablet PCs.

Established in October 2001 by Cisco Systems Inc., Comverse Inc., Intel, Microsoft, Philips Speech Processing and SpeechWorks International Inc., the SALT Forum brings together a diverse group of more than 50 industry-leading companies with a common interest in developing and promoting speech technologies for multimodal and telephony applications.

The Microsoft .NET Speech Platform

The Microsoft .NET Speech platform will enable companies to develop and deploy self-service applications over the telephone and a wide range of mobile devices with a powerful natural speech interface. The Microsoft .NET Speech platform is an open, nonproprietary SALT-based solution for deploying Web-based speech applications. By extending existing Web investments with speech functionality, enterprises will be able to realize significant cost savings, such as reductions in the costs associated with call center agents and expenses related to building and maintaining separate speech-enabled applications, as well as enhanced productivity by enabling employees to access critical information on the move.

The Microsoft .NET Speech platform is a central component of Microsoft's comprehensive SALT-based offerings. Speech-enabled Web applications running on the Microsoft .NET Speech platform may be developed using the Microsoft .NET Speech software development kit (SDK), a set of SALT-based development tools and speech controls that integrate with Visual Studio .NET and ASP.NET for faster, easier application development.

About Intel

Intel, the world's largest chip maker, is also a leading manufacturer of computer, networking and communications products. Additional information about Intel is available at

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") 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.

[Intel overview: "Speech Application Language Tags (SALT). Creating a Speech Technology Standard for the Internet."]


Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive. See: "Speech Application Language Tags (SALT)."

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