Microsoft is said to be in talks to acquire Nuance Communications, a voice recognition company, for $ 16 billion (around € 13.4 billion), according to Bloomberg. The transaction is expected to close within a week.
Voice recognition software
Nuance Communications, headquartered in Burlington, MA, is a pioneer in speech recognition. Its first software offering these features, Dragon NaturallySpeaking, was launched in 1997. The company has since refocused on the B2B market by adapting its technologies to different sectors: health, retail, telecommunications …
Dragon Medical software, for example, allows healthcare professionals to automatically transcribe the various information from conversations with their patients, but also to transcribe their letters to colleagues and reports. It would cut the time spent manually filling out computerized patient records (DPI) in half, according to the US company.
Nuance also supplies its technology to various partners, for example in the automotive industry for the on-board interface, but also to the start-up Siri (then to Apple after the takeover of the latter).
Assistant Cortana turns away from the general public
Microsoft is also positioned in the voice recognition sector with its assistant Cortana, whose application disappeared from mobile app stores in November 2019 to refocus on professional uses. The acquisition of Nuance Communications would allow it to pursue this objective presented at the Build 2019 conference: to establish itself as the benchmark solution in business.
If it is actually concluded, this transaction would constitute the second largest acquisition of Microsoft after that of LinkedIn for 26.2 billion dollars in 2016. The technology giant is also in discussions to buy the Discord platform. The transaction has not yet taken place.