Microsoft and ScanSoft Reach Licensing Agreement to Enable New Document Imaging Solutions for the Asian Market

ScanSoft To License Asian OCR Technology To Microsoft



Apr 18, 2001, 01:00 ET from ScanSoft, Inc.

    REDMOND, Wash. and PEABODY, Mass., April 18 /PRNewswire/ --
 Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), the worldwide leader in software, services and
 Internet technologies for personal and business computing, and ScanSoft(R),
 Inc. (Nasdaq: SSFT), a worldwide leader in paper-to-digital solutions, today
 announced that Microsoft has selected ScanSoft to supply optical character
 recognition (OCR) technology for inclusion in the Microsoft(R) Office Document
 Imaging solution for the Asia-Pacific market.
     This is the third imaging technology agreement between Microsoft and
 ScanSoft in the last 18 months.  Both companies look forward to supporting
 each other's marketing initiatives in the Asian markets.  In addition,
 ScanSoft will bring to market enhanced versions of its software development
 kits (SDK's) for systems integrators and independent software developers who
 require Asian OCR as part of their solutions.
     Although the financial terms of the agreement remain confidential,
 ScanSoft is disclosing that it will recognize revenues of approximately $3
 million in the first full year of the agreement.  The agreement will be
 materially accretive to earnings in 2001.
     "Microsoft's worldwide leadership position in electronic document creation
 and sharing will expedite the proliferation of document imaging solutions
 within the Asian markets," said Paul Ricci, chief executive officer at
 ScanSoft.  "By working with Microsoft, we can quickly promote the benefits of
 these solutions to users around the world.  By broadening the awareness of OCR
 technology in the Asian markets, Microsoft will also assist ScanSoft in
 gaining a foothold in these markets for ScanSoft's award-winning technology."
     Analyst firm IDC reports that scanner sales in the Asia-Pacific market
 have increased at a rate of 26 percent from 1999 through 2000.  "The momentum
 in this market is expected to continue, with scanner sales forecasted to grow
 at a 32 percent CAGR by 2005, reinforcing the growing demand for Asian imaging
 solutions," said Ron Glaz, IDC analyst.  "These statistics indicate a
 significant opportunity for ScanSoft as a worldwide leader in paper-to-digital
 technology and acceptance of Microsoft products."
     "Through our previous agreements, ScanSoft has continuously demonstrated
 superior technology performance and ease of integration that meet our needs,"
 said Larry Engel, product unit manager at Microsoft.  "This agreement further
 strengthens our relationship with ScanSoft and will enable us to expand our
 imaging solutions into Asian markets."
     Office Document Imaging is a new application in Microsoft Office XP,
 scheduled for release in the second quarter of 2001.  This functionality
 provides users the ability to capture, index, store and find document images
 within the standard workflow of Office.  ScanSoft's OCR and image processing
 technologies enable fast, accurate indexing and small portable files to reduce
 storage needs and speed communications, thereby reducing bandwidth
 constraints.
 
     About Microsoft Corp.
     Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) is the worldwide leader in
 software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business
 computing.  The company offers a wide range of products and services designed
 to empower people through great software -- any time, any place and on any
 device.
 
     About ScanSoft, Inc.
     Headquartered in Peabody, Mass., with European headquarters in The
 Netherlands, ScanSoft, Inc. (Nasdaq: SSFT) is a global leader in paper-to-
 digital solutions for the desktop, network, Internet and mobile environments
 that enable users to leverage the power of their scanners, digital cameras and
 other electronic devices.  ScanSoft's award-winning product line - OmniPage
 Pro, TextBridge Pro, PaperPort Deluxe, Pagis Pro, OmniForm, eOmniForm, and
 numerous software developer's kits, enables users to capture, recognize, edit,
 manage and share documents and photos electronically by taking advantage of
 ScanSoft's cutting-edge technology.
     ScanSoft has established numerous strategic partnerships with the
 industry's leading scanner and multifunction vendors to deliver the most
 comprehensive and cost-effective solutions for its customers.  Vendors who
 have chosen ScanSoft's cutting-edge products and technologies include Brother,
 Canon, Epson, Fujitsu, Hewlett-Packard, IBM/Lotus, Mustek, Primax, Sharp,
 Symantec Corporation, Visioneer, Xerox and others.  ScanSoft's leading
 technologies have been licensed by Microsoft for use in Office XP and other
 future products.  ScanSoft continues to cultivate and develop strategic
 partnerships to deliver the most comprehensive and cost-effective solutions
 for its customers.
     ScanSoft software is sold, marketed and supported worldwide through
 retail, dealer and OEM channels and the Internet, capturing the small to
 medium size business and corporate markets.  There are more than 8 million
 registered users of ScanSoft products.  ScanSoft can be found on the Web at
 www.scansoft.com.
     Trademark reference: ScanSoft, OmniPage, TextBridge, PaperPort, PaperPort
 Deluxe, Pagis, OmniForm, eOmniForm, and Developer's Kit 2000 are registered
 trademarks or trademarks of ScanSoft, Inc., in the United States and/or other
 countries. Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft in the United
 States and/or other countries.  All other trademarks and trade names are
 hereby recognized and may be registered to their respective holders.
 
     The statements in this release that relate to future plans, events or
 performance, including without limitation, the perceived benefits of the
 agreement with Microsoft and that the agreement will be materially accretive
 to earnings in 2001, are forward-looking statements that reflect the Company's
 current expectations, assumptions and estimates of future performance and
 economic conditions.  The Company cautions investors that these forward
 looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause actual
 results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in such forward
 looking statements.  Such risks and uncertainties include, without limitation,
 risks and uncertainties associated with: development of the marketplace for
 Asian OCR; continued demand for the Company's products and services; the
 ability of the Company's alliances to succeed and in particular, the ability
 of the Company to complete product development; market acceptance and the
 impact of competitive products; and other risks as identified in the Company's
 SEC filings.  The Company disclaims any intention or obligation to publicly
 update these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances
 that occur after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated
 events.
 
 

SOURCE ScanSoft, Inc.
    REDMOND, Wash. and PEABODY, Mass., April 18 /PRNewswire/ --
 Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), the worldwide leader in software, services and
 Internet technologies for personal and business computing, and ScanSoft(R),
 Inc. (Nasdaq: SSFT), a worldwide leader in paper-to-digital solutions, today
 announced that Microsoft has selected ScanSoft to supply optical character
 recognition (OCR) technology for inclusion in the Microsoft(R) Office Document
 Imaging solution for the Asia-Pacific market.
     This is the third imaging technology agreement between Microsoft and
 ScanSoft in the last 18 months.  Both companies look forward to supporting
 each other's marketing initiatives in the Asian markets.  In addition,
 ScanSoft will bring to market enhanced versions of its software development
 kits (SDK's) for systems integrators and independent software developers who
 require Asian OCR as part of their solutions.
     Although the financial terms of the agreement remain confidential,
 ScanSoft is disclosing that it will recognize revenues of approximately $3
 million in the first full year of the agreement.  The agreement will be
 materially accretive to earnings in 2001.
     "Microsoft's worldwide leadership position in electronic document creation
 and sharing will expedite the proliferation of document imaging solutions
 within the Asian markets," said Paul Ricci, chief executive officer at
 ScanSoft.  "By working with Microsoft, we can quickly promote the benefits of
 these solutions to users around the world.  By broadening the awareness of OCR
 technology in the Asian markets, Microsoft will also assist ScanSoft in
 gaining a foothold in these markets for ScanSoft's award-winning technology."
     Analyst firm IDC reports that scanner sales in the Asia-Pacific market
 have increased at a rate of 26 percent from 1999 through 2000.  "The momentum
 in this market is expected to continue, with scanner sales forecasted to grow
 at a 32 percent CAGR by 2005, reinforcing the growing demand for Asian imaging
 solutions," said Ron Glaz, IDC analyst.  "These statistics indicate a
 significant opportunity for ScanSoft as a worldwide leader in paper-to-digital
 technology and acceptance of Microsoft products."
     "Through our previous agreements, ScanSoft has continuously demonstrated
 superior technology performance and ease of integration that meet our needs,"
 said Larry Engel, product unit manager at Microsoft.  "This agreement further
 strengthens our relationship with ScanSoft and will enable us to expand our
 imaging solutions into Asian markets."
     Office Document Imaging is a new application in Microsoft Office XP,
 scheduled for release in the second quarter of 2001.  This functionality
 provides users the ability to capture, index, store and find document images
 within the standard workflow of Office.  ScanSoft's OCR and image processing
 technologies enable fast, accurate indexing and small portable files to reduce
 storage needs and speed communications, thereby reducing bandwidth
 constraints.
 
     About Microsoft Corp.
     Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) is the worldwide leader in
 software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business
 computing.  The company offers a wide range of products and services designed
 to empower people through great software -- any time, any place and on any
 device.
 
     About ScanSoft, Inc.
     Headquartered in Peabody, Mass., with European headquarters in The
 Netherlands, ScanSoft, Inc. (Nasdaq: SSFT) is a global leader in paper-to-
 digital solutions for the desktop, network, Internet and mobile environments
 that enable users to leverage the power of their scanners, digital cameras and
 other electronic devices.  ScanSoft's award-winning product line - OmniPage
 Pro, TextBridge Pro, PaperPort Deluxe, Pagis Pro, OmniForm, eOmniForm, and
 numerous software developer's kits, enables users to capture, recognize, edit,
 manage and share documents and photos electronically by taking advantage of
 ScanSoft's cutting-edge technology.
     ScanSoft has established numerous strategic partnerships with the
 industry's leading scanner and multifunction vendors to deliver the most
 comprehensive and cost-effective solutions for its customers.  Vendors who
 have chosen ScanSoft's cutting-edge products and technologies include Brother,
 Canon, Epson, Fujitsu, Hewlett-Packard, IBM/Lotus, Mustek, Primax, Sharp,
 Symantec Corporation, Visioneer, Xerox and others.  ScanSoft's leading
 technologies have been licensed by Microsoft for use in Office XP and other
 future products.  ScanSoft continues to cultivate and develop strategic
 partnerships to deliver the most comprehensive and cost-effective solutions
 for its customers.
     ScanSoft software is sold, marketed and supported worldwide through
 retail, dealer and OEM channels and the Internet, capturing the small to
 medium size business and corporate markets.  There are more than 8 million
 registered users of ScanSoft products.  ScanSoft can be found on the Web at
 www.scansoft.com.
     Trademark reference: ScanSoft, OmniPage, TextBridge, PaperPort, PaperPort
 Deluxe, Pagis, OmniForm, eOmniForm, and Developer's Kit 2000 are registered
 trademarks or trademarks of ScanSoft, Inc., in the United States and/or other
 countries. Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft in the United
 States and/or other countries.  All other trademarks and trade names are
 hereby recognized and may be registered to their respective holders.
 
     The statements in this release that relate to future plans, events or
 performance, including without limitation, the perceived benefits of the
 agreement with Microsoft and that the agreement will be materially accretive
 to earnings in 2001, are forward-looking statements that reflect the Company's
 current expectations, assumptions and estimates of future performance and
 economic conditions.  The Company cautions investors that these forward
 looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause actual
 results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in such forward
 looking statements.  Such risks and uncertainties include, without limitation,
 risks and uncertainties associated with: development of the marketplace for
 Asian OCR; continued demand for the Company's products and services; the
 ability of the Company's alliances to succeed and in particular, the ability
 of the Company to complete product development; market acceptance and the
 impact of competitive products; and other risks as identified in the Company's
 SEC filings.  The Company disclaims any intention or obligation to publicly
 update these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances
 that occur after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated
 events.
 
 SOURCE  ScanSoft, Inc.