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IBM Open Sourcing Speech Recognition Code to Apache and Eclipse
Monday, September 13 2004 @ 12:26 AM EDT

SCO's CEO said that his company couldn't make money from Linux and implied no one else can either. Here is some indications that you can, if you know how. But it's a different world, and it requires innovation. Here's a snip of a speech IBM's CEO Sam Palmisano gave at the National Innovation Initiative (NII) regional summit meeting recently:

"US faces critical choices for innovation leadership, says IBM's Palmisano

'The United States is at a crossroads ... facing new realities that significantly challenge our global innovation leadership,' said IBM Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Sam Palmisano.

"Speaking at the National Innovation Initiative (NII) regional summit meeting, Palmisano, an NII co-chairman, said, 'In an environment where innovation is all about collaboration, where ideas can move around the world with a click of the mouse, and where other nations are gaining on us, can we be a new kind of global leader? One focused not on defensive dominance, but on agility, change and collaboration?'

I translate that as saying that the world is going Linux. If the US fails to keep up, there is no question it will be left in the dust.

Here's some news. IBM is releasing some speech recognition software to Apache and Eclipse under an open source license. The New York Times' Steve Lohr is reporting that IBM is open sourcing its speech-recognition software:

"I.B.M. 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. . . .

"I.B.M. is also announcing an agreement with Avaya, a leading supplier of call-center technology, to jointly develop speech-enabled self-service applications for corporate customers. 'Web self-service and speech self-service can be developed in tandem,' said Eileen Rudden, vice president of Avaya's communications applications division. 'We see this as a way to lower the cost of building speech applications and broaden the market.' . . .

"Microsoft has developed its own standardized tools for making speech recognition applications, and in March it introduced Microsoft Speech Server 2004 for running speech-enabled applications. More than 100,000 software programmers have downloaded Microsoft's free software developers' kit for building speech applications on its Windows .Net technology."

IBM has also announced a new computer server using Power5 microprocessors and GNU/Linux. It starts at $5,000:

"The Armonk, New York-based company had already ported Linux to the previous generation of its Power chips. The new server is not only an attempt to broaden the adoption of Linux but is also a way for IBM to boost returns from its investment in the Power5 chip, analysts said.

"The Power5 chip, like Advanced Micro Devices Inc.'s (AMD.N: Quote, Profile, Research) Opteron and Intel Corp.'s (INTC.O: Quote, Profile, Research) Itanium processors, are so-called 64-bit, meaning they crunch data 64 bits at a time compared with the 32-bit x86 processors made by Intel and AMD used in personal computers and low-end servers.

"'IBM is trying to become the 64-bit Linux platform or at least become one of the choices in 64-bit Linux,' said Dan Olds, an analyst at Gabriel Consulting.'. . .

"Linux is a small but gathering threat to Microsoft Corp.'s Windows operating system, Olds said, noting that servers using Linux have been embraced by the science and technical computing market and at the edges of company's computer networks to serve up Web pages and such. . . .

"The OpenPower 720 server will be available Sept. 24 and can be powered by as many as four Power5 chips, IBM said. In the first half of next year, the company will start selling OpenPower servers using two Power5 processors. "

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