Microsoft takes stake in General Magic

Microsoft is to take a minority stake in natural-language software maker General Magic and license some of its technology. Microsoft will pay General Magic US$6 million and will license some of the company's voice and data integration technology. Specifics were not immediately available, but a Microsoft statement did note that General Magic is developing a network service for mobile professionals, code-named Serengeti.

Microsoft is to take a minority stake in natural-language software maker General Magic and license some of its technology.

Under the terms of the agreement, Microsoft will pay General Magic US$6 million and will license some of the company's voice and data integration technology, according to a statement from Microsoft.

Microsoft's specific plans for General Magic's natural-language technology were not immediately available, but the statement did note that General Magic is developing a network service for mobile professionals, code-named Serengeti. The network service is designed to provide voice mail, e-mail, fax, address book, calendar, news and stock information via a telephone using a proprietary voice user interface or via a Web browser, according to Microsoft's statement.

Serengeti, which is slated to ship in the middle of the year, is designed to work with several Microsoft applications, including the Outlook messaging and collaboration client, Schedule+, Internet Explorer, WebTV and Windows CE-based devices, according to the statement.

General Magic can be reached at at http://www.genmagic.com/.

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