Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Microsoft to Acquire Tellme, a Voice Service Portal

Microsoft agreed to acquire Tellme Networks, which operates a leading voice service portal, for an undisclosed sum. Using voice-recognition technology, Tellme provides consumers with up-to-date information via its toll-free number (1-800-555-TELL). Tellme answers millions of calls every day for information such as finding local businesses, driving directions, sports scores, stock quotes, weather, news, movie show times and more. Businesses use Tellme's voice services and platform to provide customers with voice-access services ranging from banking to package tracking.

Potential areas of development resulting from the deal will range from hosted voice-enabled customer service solutions that complement Microsoft's existing unified communications offerings to voice user interfaces in existing Microsoft products to search services on mobile phones that integrate with Live Search for mobile offerings.

Microsoft said the deal will mark an important step forward in its strategy for delivering software plus services. In particular, Microsoft plans to incorporate Tellme into its unified communications voice services portfolio. In the long term, Tellme technology could enhance Microsoft's many voice-enabled applications, including the Windows Vista operating system, the Microsoft Office system, and mobile applications such as Windows Mobile and Windows Automotive.

Tellme, which has more than 320 employees, will continue to operate from its Mountain View, California, headquarters as part of the Microsoft Business Division.



  • In February 2007, Tellme Networks enhanced its voice services platform with new multimodal capabilities for mobile phones allowing companies to create a visual experience. Tellme is now using VoiceXML to create a multimodal "voice & visual" interface, enabling users to simply say what they want and then see it on their mobile screen. Tellme said it will continue to work with the W3C on VoiceXML 3.0 and multimodal standards.