Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) Reportedly Bought Speech Recognition Firm Novauris to Boost Siri

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Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) purchased U.K. speech recognition company Novauris last year in an unannounced acquisition, according to TechCrunch.

TechCrunch suggested the purchase is linked to efforts to improve Siri, the speech-based virtual assistant that is pre-installed on Apple’s mobile devices. Rival Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) this week unveiled its own virtual assistant, called Cortana. Terms of the Novauris acquisition were not announced.

In mid-day trade, AAPL was down 1% to $533.41. MSFT is off 2.4% at $40.01 amid widespread tech sector selling.

In Other Tech News

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) said its Office app for Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad reached 12 million downloads as of Thursday.
The software giant announced the milestone in a message from its @Office handle on Twitter (NYSE:TWTR).

Microsoft began offering iPad versions of Word, Excel and Powerpoint on March 27.  Microsoft slipped 2.2% to $40.11 a share on Friday as technology stocks came under pressure following a U.S. jobs report that was weaker than expected.

GrubHub (NYSE:GRUB), the online and mobile food ordering company, saw its shares jump as much as 57% to $40.79 in its debut on Nasdaq on Friday.  Recently the stock was up 42% at $36.98.

The company sold 7.4 million shares at $26.00 in the initial public offering. In addition, underwriters have a 30-day option to buy up to 1.11 million additional shares from certain selling stockholders at the IPO price.

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