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Thursday, March 15, 2007 

Microsoft buys Tellme, expert in voice recognition

imageMicrosoft has made a big play in mobile/voice search and has bought TellMe, a provider of nationwide directory assistance, enterprise customer service and voice-enabled mobile search. The price was not disclosed, but if reports are true ($800 million to a billion) they will have to disclose it in SEC filings down the line. Tellme is profitable and has raised over $235 million in venture funding prior to this....this will be Microsoft’s biggest purchase since 2002.

From the release: “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.” The company’s service is already used to fixed-line consumer services such as finding local businesses, driving directions, sports scores, stock quotes, weather, news, movie show times and more, so mobile voice search is a natural extension of that.

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Pedro "K2" Macêdo

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