The rumor is true! Microsoft has confirmed that they will in fact be acquiring Tellme Networks. Everybody knew it was coming (despite both parties denying it), it was just a matter of when. GigaOm is reporting that the deal is worth over $800 million but below 1 Billion which makes it one of Microsoft’s most expensive purchases!
Tellme is known for their voice services for the phone including providing information to callers on businesses, driving directions, stock quotes, weather, movies show times, etc. And according to the Microsoft Press Release, Microsoft will use this acquisition to improve and expand their speech capabilities.
Recently Tellme has been experimenting with new products that make use of voice by allowing mobile phone users say what they want, and then they get a response back to their phone as data. Another service uses text messaging to allow users to request something and then get a response back as a text message with their options.
With this purchase, Microsoft is also hoping to improve their voice-enabled apps “including Windows Vista operating system, the Microsoft Office system, and mobile applications such as Windows Mobile and Windows Automotive.”
There’s already rumors that Microsoft is working on some type of phone to compete with the Zune, and an obvious step would be to incorporate some of Tellme services into that phone.