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IBM Announces Availability of the First Continuous Speech Recognition Software for the Mac Platform

ViaVoice for Mac in Stores for the Holidays

IBM today announced the availability of ViaVoice Millennium Edition 1 - 08 Dec 1999: to-market continuous speech recognition software for the Macintosh platform.

ViaVoice for Mac provides users with an intuitive, easy-to-use interface to perform everyday computer tasks, such as creating e-mail and editing documents, by speaking. The software is available this week on store shelves, online and in catalogs in time for the holiday buying season.

"IBM listened to the thousands of requests from Mac enthusiasts and brought its leading
ViaVoice speech recognition technology to one of the most popular operating platforms," said Krishna Nathan, director of consumer voice systems, IBM Speech Systems. "ViaVoice for Mac is part of our continuing effort to make it easier and more natural for people to interact with their computer. IBM is the only company to offer its speech recognition technology on all of the most popular desktop operating platforms -- Windows, Linux and Macintosh."

"We are thrilled IBM is bringing its award-winning speech recognition software to the Mac," said Clent Richardson, Apple's vice president of Worldwide Developer Relations. "ViaVoice for Mac makes the most user-friendly Mac even easier to use."

The ViaVoice Advantage
Based on IBM's award-winning speech recognition technology, ViaVoice for Mac speech recognition software was created with simplicity in mind. The software incorporates an easy-to-use interface specifically designed for the Mac platform -- making it both easy and natural for all Mac users to conduct common computing tasks. ViaVoice for Mac provides users with the ability to create, edit and format documents in the most natural way. After text is created, the software's integrated transfer feature lets users transfer text into popular Macintosh applications, such as AppleWorks or Microsoft Word. Users can create voice shortcuts for commonly-used phrases by literally "calling" them out with the software's dictation macro editor. ViaVoice for Mac includes a 64,000 active word vocabulary, the largest on the market for Macintosh, and also integrates Apple's text-to-speech function that lets Apple computers read text back to the user. Also included with the product is a newly designed noise cancelling microphone for Mac users. This new mic has changeable colored accents to coordinate with all the popular iMac flavors.

Power for ViaVoice for Macintosh
IBM's ViaVoice for Mac runs on Mac OS 8.5.1, 8.6 and 9.0. The software requires a 233 MHz Power PC processor or higher, 48 MB RAM, 200 MB of hard disk space and a CD-ROM drive. The software runs on iMac, PowerMac G3 and G4, and PowerBook G3 computers, and requires an audio input jack that is compatible with Andrea NC-71 microphones.

Availability and Pricing
ViaVoice for Mac will be available this week in the United States and Canada. It will be sold through major retail and office supply stores, over the Internet through ShopIBM (www.ibm.com/shop) and other online vendors, as well as other traditional channels for Apple software. The suggested retail price for the software is $89.95. Additional languages are planned for the first half of 2000.

Contact(s) information

Heather O'Byrne-Ramsey
IBM
914-766-1475
obyrne@us.ibm.com

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