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Monday April 26, 8:15 am Eastern Time

Company Press Release

IBM Announces First Speech Recognition Technology for the Linux Operating System

ViaVoice for Linux Available Immediately from Red Hat, Caldera Systems Distribution Planned

SOMERS, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 26, 1999-- IBM today announced its award-winning ViaVoice speech recognition technology is available for the Linux operating environment. ViaVoice is the first commercial speech recognition technology to be ported to the Linux environment.

``Speech is the next user interface for computing,'' said W.S. ``Ozzie'' Osborne, general manager for IBM Speech Systems. ``By offering our speech engine and libraries to the growing community of Linux developers, IBM is encouraging the development and proliferation of new interactive and conversational applications.''

IBM's initial Linux offering will include a beta version of IBM ViaVoice Software Developers Kit (SDK) for Linux, IBM ViaVoice Run Time Kit for Linux and open source sample applications. These technologies provide the foundation for application developers to incorporate speech recognition technology into the next generation of applications. The initial beta version of ViaVoice engine and SDK for Linux is available in U.S. English. Red Hat Software will be the first to distribute IBM's speech technology as part of the company's Linux 6.0 Application CD(a), also announced today. In the coming months, IBM plans to extend its ViaVoice for Linux offering to support a variety of languages, additional content and distribution channels, including Caldera Systems.

In addition to offering its ViaVoice SDK and engine for Linux, IBM will host a Web site for new technology downloads and a discussion group for technical information and collaboration with fellow developers. For more information about these services, visit IBM at and select ``Linux.''

According to IDC Research, Linux is the fastest-growing server operating environment. In 1998, some 750,000 Linux servers were installed, reflecting a 212 percent growth rate and 17 percent of all new server placements. IBM's new release of ViaVoice speech recognition technology for Linux underscores the company's commitment to support Linux with a broad range of hardware, software and service solutions. IBM, in collaboration with commercial Linux distributors, such as Red Hat Software and Caldera Systems, Inc., supports the growth opportunity for Linux solutions.

``Combining IBM's speech recognition technology with the stability and flexibility of Linux is another reason that Linux is a premier computing platform,'' said Paul McNamara, vice president of business development, Red Hat Software. ``Bringing advanced applications, such as ViaVoice, to our users is of prime importance to us.``

``This is an important technological advancement for both Linux and IBM,'' said Ransom Love, president and CEO of Caldera Systems, Inc. ``ViaVoice technology is exactly what OpenLinux customers have been asking for -- speech recognition is very important to the enterprise. Add that to IBM's online Web collaboration with Open Source developers and Linux for Business moves to the next level.''

IBM Speech Systems

IBM is a pioneer in speech recognition research and development. The company is focused on supporting open standards that help accelerate the creation of content, servers and browsers that allow speech recognition technology to be easily integrated into voice, data and applications infrastructures. IBM is a member of a variety of industry efforts including VoiceTIMES, VXML, W3C and Java Technology Consortiums.

IBM's ViaVoice speech recognition technology is based on more than 30 years of speech recognition, user interface and human-to-computer interaction research and development. With an established R&D business worldwide and more than 100 patents in the area of speech recognition, speech synthesis, identification and natural language understanding, the company continues to set the direction for new consumer and business applications. The company was one of the first to offer consumer speech recognition software, and as a result has established a reputation as the worldwide leader in continuous, natural language command speech software. IBM ViaVoice software is available in eight languages and sold in more countries than any other speech recognition software product.

For more information about IBM Speech Systems, visit the World Wide Web at

Editor Note:

(a) For more information about Red Hat Linux 6.0 and the Application CD, please see

IBM and ViaVoice are trademarks or registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Trovalds. All other trademarks or registered trademarks are registered to their respective owners. References to products or offerings do not necessarily imply that IBM intends to make these products or offerings available to every country in the world.

     Kristin Wahl, 415/545-4104

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