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IBM's Open-Source Lovefest! - 9/13/2004 11:49:09 AM   


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"Big Blue" may also earn the nickname "Big Linux Supporter" as IBM continues to embrace open-source efforts to hike its market share and challenge competitors, including Microsoft.

The company "plans to announce today that it will contribute some of its speech-recognition software to two open-source software groups," the New York Times reported. "The move is a tactical step ... to accelerate the development of speech applications and to outmaneuver rivals, especially Microsoft, in a market that is expected to grow rapidly in the next few years with increased use in customer-service call centers, cars and elsewhere. To do this, IBM is again using the strategy of placing some of its proprietary software in open-source projects, making it available for other programmers to improve."

More from the Times: "IBM is donating code that it estimates cost the company $10 million to develop. One collection of speech software for handling basic words for dates, time and locations, like cities and states, will go to the Apache Software Foundation. The company is also contributing speech-editing tools to a second open-source group, the Eclipse Foundation. IBM has contributed code to open-source programmers in the past. In August, for example, the company contributed Cloudscape, a database written in the Java programming language, to the Apache Foundation. And IBM is a leading corporate sponsor of open-source projects like the Apache Web server and the Linux operating system."

Microsoft is trying to thumb its nose at IBM's efforts in the speech recognition arena. "This is a case of IBM following Microsoft," said James Mastan, director of marketing for Microsoft Speech Technologies. "IBM has not executed in bringing this technology to a broad market as Microsoft has."
Full story...

Source : Washington Post
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