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The open source IM project Jabber has inked a partnership with voice web outfit Nuance.

Nuance provides voice browsing and speech recognition services to wireless networks and major private customers. Jabber recently got a $7m investment from France Telecom, which took a 23 per cent stake in shop front Jabber.com, the company which employs many of the developers. Jabber.com is owned by Webb Interactive Services.

The deal looks like a fairly straightforward reciprocal technology exchange: Nuance anoints Jabber as the preferred IM service for its voice customers, including Sprint PCS, and Jabber gets Nuance's voice technology.

The joint press blurb describes how Jabber users will be able to collect spoken text messages from their nearest phone, and how phone users will be able to speak text messages to Jabber clients.

Jabber is gathering an impressive momentum, and as it's open source, is a whole deal cheaper and easier to integrate than its proprietary IM rivals. ®

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