There’s an old joke about Microsoft that it takes them three major releases to get it right. So – when “version 3.0 of something” comes out – it’s time to pay attention. Microsoft shifted away from version numbers to year numbers a while ago – presumably someone in marketing figured out that the version numbering approach wasn’t effectively confusing customers about the maturity of products.
Earlier today, Microsoft announced the road map and feature set for Microsoft Speech Server 2007 which is expected to be released at the end of this year. One of my portfolio companies – Gold Systems – has been working closely with Microsoft Speech Server over the past year and has implemented a number of projects with it. When I was at Microsoft last week, I spent some time with Richard Bray (Microsoft GM Speech Server) and Terry Gold (Gold Systems CEO) discussing where Microsoft was going with the product and how Gold and Microsoft could expand their relationship around Speech Server, Microsoft’s upcoming unified messaging product, and Microsoft LCS. It was a great conversation – Richard definitely gets it – and I expect Microsoft will really nail it with v3.0 of Speech Server.