Microsoft reportedly eyeing purchase of AI speech tech firm Nuance Communications

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Every week it seems as if there is a rumour about a purchase Microsoft is about to make and this week continues that tradition.

Nuance Communication is a firm that specialises in creating tools for healthcare, security and customer engagement which make use of artificial intelligence and speech recognition. The firm even has a chat bot that provides timely and accurate information about COVID-19 vaccines.

According to Bloomberg, which cites “people familiar with the matter”, Microsoft is apparently looking to acquire Nuance. The price is still reportedly being discussed but Bloomberg reports that discussions peg the price down to $56 a share bringing the total equity value of the firm to as much as $16 billion.

If Microsoft pays that price to acquire Nuance, it will be the second highest the firm paid to acquire a firm with the 2016 acquisition of LinkedIn being the highest at $24 billion.

The big question is why would Microsoft want to acquire Nuance? The short answer is that it’s a very attractive firm with some incredible solutions.

For one, as of October 2019, Nuance was used by 10 000 organisations worldwide and 85 percent of Fortune 100 companies partner with Nuance. The firm boasts big name clients such as TalkTalk, Meditech, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Verizon among many others.

Even Microsoft is a partner. In 2020, Microsoft integrated Nuance Dragon Ambient eXperience (DAX) into Teams.

Being able to integrate more of Nuance’s functionality into Teams might give Microsoft an edge in the space which has been dominated by Zoom since March 2020, especially if Microsoft can implement features that appeal to professionals.

While neither Microsoft nor Nuance has commented on the rumours of an acquisition, it’s reported that the deal will be finalised later this week.

If this is an acquisition that is indeed happening, it’s one that makes sense.

As mentioned Microsoft needs something to give Teams an edge and while acquiring Discord might help boost numbers, offering real functionality for professionals might make Teams a winner.

Now we just need to wait on news regarding whether this acquisition is in fact happening.

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.

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