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IBM introduces ViaVoice for Windows


SOMERS, NY - 29 Aug 2000: IBM today announced its new ViaVoice for Windows, family of voice recognition software that can make talking to your computer easier, faster and more accurate than ever before.

ViaVoice for Windows, Release 8.0 includes four products designed to meet the needs of the most advanced to first-time computer users. New enhancements include: a Universal Serial Bus (USB) connectivity noise-cancelling microphone; faster set-up time; improved correction capabilities and expanded command and control features for voice-navigation of the desktop. According to internal tests performed by IBM, these enhancements combine to make ViaVoice for Windows the most accurate IBM voice recognition product to date.

In addition, a new voice template tool, called ViaVoice Documents, can make it faster and easier to dictate into e-mail, forms, memos, briefs and fax templates. Voice Marks, a new text-to-speech feature, allows users to save time and keep working while ViaVoice confirms that the macros a user has chosen are completed.

"We believe that voice will transform the way that humans interact with technology, from the computer to the telephone and Internet. The first place to effect this transformation is by making the device that people use most -- the personal computer -- more friendly to use and more productive," said Krishna Nathan, director of IBM Consumer Voice Systems. "By offering a ViaVoice for Windows solution for the most advanced user to the newest computer user and making that solution more accurate and easier to use than ever before, we are building the foundation for interacting with all types of future devices and technologies more naturally."

"There is no doubt that voice will be the next interface between humans and machines," said Dr. Judith Markowitz, president of J. Markowitz, Consultants. "Computing power and voice recognition accuracy rates have already improved to the extent where voice is now a viable alternative to typing text for a growing number of people. Anyone who working with computers in the 1980s remembers how the graphical user interface (GUI) completely changed the way that people used computers. We expect voice technology to be part of an every greater transformation of the user interface -- one in which voice, touch, and other modes of interaction enable a person to communicate with machines in the most natural and effective way possible."

The ViaVoice for Windows, Release 8.0 Product Family
ViaVoice for Windows, Release 8.0 includes four offerings -- Pro, Advanced, Standard and Personal. Features of each include:
ViaVoice for Windows, Pro Edition offers the greatest power for maximum efficiency and productivity. It includes a digital USB adapter and microphone that can provide users with enhanced audio quality and improved recognition and accuracy. Users can choose the input channel they prefer: an analog connection to a standard sound card port or a pathway to an available USB port. Additional capabilities include the new ViaVoice Documents feature that can help users dictate into established templates to make repetitive tasks and text entry quick and easy, and ViaVoice Marks, which uses Text-to-Speech technology or pre-recorded audio to playback acknowledgment of the user's simple closing and address macro formatting. ViaVoice for Windows, Pro Edition also includes support for Windows NT, Me, 2000, 98 and 95.

ViaVoice for Windows, Advanced Edition also offers a USB digital microphone adapter for digitized or analog USB connectivity, making it a powerful USB speech solution. The Advanced Edition also provides Natural Language Commands for control over voice recognition dictation as well as command and control for easy navigation of the desktop and the Web. Now, users can surf the Internet, create e-mail and conduct voice chats with ViaVoice for Windows, Advanced Edition while enjoying the high quality of USB audio. ViaVoice for Windows, Advanced Edition also includes support for Windows Me, 98 and 95.

ViaVoice for Windows, Standard Edition is ideal for the user who is primarily interested in dictating text into Microsoft Word or ViaVoice SpeakPad, IBM's speech-enabled word processor. The Standard Edition offers all the enhancements and improvements to the voice engine for improved accuracy found in the Advanced and Pro Edition products, as well as Direct Dictation into Microsoft Word 97 and 2000. ViaVoice for Windows, Standard Edition also includes support for Windows Me, 98 and 95.

ViaVoice for Windows, Personal Edition is IBM's entry-level speech recognition solution, perfect for beginners or entry-level users. It features improved accuracy and performance and includes a headset microphone, as well as Direct Dictation into Microsoft Word 97 and 2000. ViaVoice for Windows, Personal Edition also inlcudes support for Windows Me, 98 and 95.
Pricing and Availability
Beginning on September 5, 2000, ViaVoice for Windows, Release 8.0 will be sold through major retail and office supply stores throughout the U.S., ShopIBM (www.ibm.com/shop), other select online vendors, mail order catalogs and additional distribution channels. U.K. English, Italian, German, French, Spanish, Japanese, simplified Chinese and traditional Chinese languages are planned for availability in late 2000. The suggested retail price of ViaVoice for Windows, Personal Edition is $29.95; ViaVoice for Windows, Standard Edition is $59.95; ViaVoice for Windows, Advanced Edition is $99.95; and ViaVoice for Windows Pro Edition is $199.95.

Minimum System Requirements
ViaVoice for Windows Pro requires:
Intel Pentium 300 MHz processor and 256K L2 cache or equivalent (including AMD-K6 with 256K L2 cache) with Microsoft Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 2000, or Windows NT Workstation 4.0 with Service Pack 5
Intel Pentium III 600MHz and 256K L2 cache (including AMD-K6 with 256K L2 cache) with Microsoft Windows Millennium (Me)
64 MB RAM for Windows 95/98/Me/NT 4.0; 96 MB RAM for Windows 2000
Windows 95/98/Me/NT 4.0/2000 compatible 16-bit sound card with a microphone input jack or USB port for USB microphone input
510 MB of available hard drive space
Quad-speed CD-ROM drive or faster

ViaVoice for Windows Advanced requires:
Intel Pentium 300 MHz processor and 256K L2 cache or equivalent (including AMD-K6 with 256K L2 cache) with Microsoft Windows 95 and Windows 98
Intel Pentium III 600MHz and 256K L2 cache (including AMD-K6 with 256K L2 cache) with Microsoft Windows Me
64 MB RAM for Windows 95/98/Me
Windows 95/98/Me compatible 16-bit sound card with a microphone input jack or USB port for USB microphone input
510 MB of available hard drive space
Quad-speed CD-ROM drive or fast

ViaVoice for Windows Standard requires:
Intel 266 MHz processor and 256K L2 cache or equivalent with Microsoft Windows 95, Windows 98 and Windows Me
64 MB RAM for Microsoft Windows 95/98/Me
460 MB of available hard disk space

ViaVoice for Windows Personal requires:
Intel 266 MHz processor and 256K L2 cache or equivalent with Microsoft Windows 95, Windows 98 and Windows Me.
64 MB RAM for Microsoft Windows 95/98/Me
460 MB of available hard disk space

Contact(s) information

Heather Ramsey
IBM
905-316-3707
ramseyha@us.ibm.com

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