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About Microsoft Agent

What is Agent?

The Agent software distribution consists of three main parts:

gif/storyharp00090000.gif The Microsoft Agent System itself

gif/storyharp00090000.gif The Microsoft Command and Control Speech Recognition (SR) Engine

gif/storyharp00090000.gif The Lernout-Hauspie Text-To-Speech (TTS) engine

Downloading Agent

All are currently (April 1998) available for free download from Microsoft.

For a current link to Microsoft's Agent downloads page from our web site, see the StoryHarp area on our web site:


A note of caution

Microsoft has indicated that Agent may well be integrated with a future version of Windows; clearly the people at Microsoft are working hard to ensure the most trouble-free installation and use of the product. In general, installing Agent and the supplied speech recognition system and text-to-speech system is as simple as downloading the three installation programs and running them.

However, speech recognition and synthesis are still an inexact science, as is installing software. There are many possible things that can go wrong when installing or using these packages. Although most users will probably not encounter difficulties, nonetheless we recommend you backup your computer system and your computer's registry before attempting to install any new software like these packages. (For help on backing up your system and registry, you can search the Microsoft web site for
registry and backup.) This is especially true if you have another speech recognition system installed. Since Microsoft and other vendors are beyond our control, we cannot take responsibility for problems you may encounter using their software or installation systems. We will try to post the most common problems and possible solutions people report to us on our web site.

The most likely thing to go wrong is that Agent could have difficulty installing itself if you have an older version of Windows 95 and have never installed Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.02 or later. If you have such a problem, you will need to install Internet Explorer first (even though it is not needed to run Agent). See our web site at for the latest information and links on troubleshooting Agent installation.

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Updated: March 10, 1999. Questions/comments on site to
Copyright © 1998, 1999 Paul D. Fernhout & Cynthia F. Kurtz.