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6/22/2007
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Nuance To Buy AOL's Tegic Communications

Tegic's T9 predictive text input software will be mated with Nuance's speech and imaging software, the companies said.

Nuance Communications said it will be able to offer a new mobile phone user interface combining voice, text, and touch as a result of its $265 million acquisition of Time Warner AOL's Tegic Communications unit.

Announced Thursday, the acquisition will streamline longtime cooperative operations between the two companies. Tegic's T9 predictive text input software will be mated with Nuance's speech and imaging software, the companies said.

"The enhanced capabilities of mobile devices and networks have fueled significant innovation in features and services, but their potential has been tempered by the traditional interface on most mobile devices," Nuance CEO and chairman Paul Ricci said in a statement. "Together, we are poised to redefine the way people interact with their mobile devices, delivering a more convenient, simple way for consumers to control features and access information on their phones, and search and navigate the mobile Web."

Tegic's software has been installed on more than 2.5 billion mobile devices, the firms said. Nuance and Tegic began their professional business relationship in 2005. The companies said the new multimodal interface to be developed by Nuance and Tegic will be available to all phone manufacturers, including current customers Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, and Sony Ericsson.

AOL executives said the spin-off of Tegic will enable the Time Warner unit to focus more directly on its advertising-related business. In a statement, Time Warner chairman and CEO Dick Parsons said: "As AOL continues to make impressive progress, it's more important than ever that AOL's resources are fully aligned behind growing its worldwide advertising businesses."

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