You know that Microsoft is betting big on a market when they fly out Bill Gates to do the official announcement. But in the case of the company's Speech Server 2004, the company's efforts could be considered a losing bet, claims IDG News.
Launched in March 2004, Speech Server 2004 is Microsoft's attempt to enter the market for speech recognition software. The product was supposed to crush the competition by offering a low cost, easy to deploy solution. But Gartner puts Microsoft market share at 2.7 percent, far behind Nuance Communications' 34.5 and ScanSoft's 42.6 percent shares, writes IDG.
While Microsoft maintains its trademark optimistic tone of voice, partners point at several strategic mistakes that the company made. Speech specialist Pronexus Inc "bet the farm" on Microsoft's technology, but is seeing only a third of the revenues that it expected initially.
Pronexus' CEO blames the disappointing revenues on a failing marketing strategy by Microsoft. The software juggernaut went after small and medium sized businesses, but later realised that it should have gone after enterprise customers instead.
Given that this is Microsoft, I'm not too surprised. The company can afford missteps like these. An upgraded version of the software is expected for August. And if that turns out not to be working, there is always version 3 to make up for the mistakes they made in the mean time. Hopefully Pronexus will have shifted gears by then and decides to put its faith in the hands of a more reliable partner.
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