Reports: Microsoft plans purchase of Tellme Networks

Several sources are reporting that Microsoft intends to purchase privately-held Tellme, a voice interaction technology vendor with its own consumer service offerings. Reports speculate that Tellme would be integrated into Microsoft's Business Division, which has been aggressively pushing new mobile services.

Tellme is both a technology developer and a service provider. Its VoiceXML platform can be used to craft a number of speech-to-data applications and is in use by a number of top international enterprises. It also operates several consumer-facing speech applications, including what it estimates to be 40 percent of the US directory assistance market.

Presumably of even greater interest to Microsoft is Tellme's upcoming products which integrate voice and text together on mobile devices, including a pure-play SMS text-to-text service as well as one which takes voice in and returns text and rich mobile Web responses back.