Microsoft buys Nuance

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Here's a CNBC article, but it's all over the news today.

Founded by Ray Kurzweil, a name familiar to many in the blind community, Nuance is a pioneer in OCR and speech recognition technology. It has produced the OmniPage OCR software and Dragon speech recognition software. Nuance partnered with Apple to produce the technology used in SIRI. Older members of the blind community will recall using Kurzweil OCR machines. Kurzweil is the K in the KNFB reader iOS app.

Microsoft will acquire Nuance for $16 billion. Does anyone know if Kurzweil still owns a controlling share of Nuance? If so, he's now a wealthy man.

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Comments

Submitted by ming on Monday, April 12, 2021

so, as we know.
many speech synthesizers are from Nuance and some of them are on voice over.
like samantha, daniel,tom...

and also they help to make the original siri too.
hopefully we can have more voice for voiceover then

Submitted by Juliantheaudiogamer on Monday, April 12, 2021

Ming, Microsoft bought the Nuance, not Apple.

Submitted by Eric Davis on Tuesday, April 13, 2021

This was a way Microsoft found to get ahead in accessibility integration into windows. From my own experience, Microsoft has always came out on the losing end in comparisons with accessibility integration. I'm not talking of third-party screen reader or accessibility solutions added to Microsoft windows, just what is built into the operating system. Not just the voices that are built into the operating system for text to speech, but the speech recognition systems are or at least to me seem to be substandard. Now, this is a matter of my own opinion, and as we all know opinions or like elbows and everybody has at least two of them.

The rather sad thing here is that MS isn't buying Nuance to improve their accessibility. They're buying Nuance as part of a healthcare software market play, to create a product that will allow doctors to dictate directly into patient records. What MS will do with Nuance's excellent OCR technology, if anything, is unknown.