Lernout & Hauspie Speech Products NV has combined speech recognition, speech-to-text translation and command and control functions in the latest version of its Voice Xpress software. With Microsoft Corp’s Whisper voice recognition project threatening L&H’s desktop voice recognition products (CI No 3,593), the company is attempting to move out of Redmond’s marketplace with the new features on its Voice Xpress Ultimate suite. The suite translates English to one of five European languages or vice versa, so, for example, a user can translate an email into a foreign language. The suite also allows voice-activated web surfing and control of most Windows applications including Office 97. The company has also inked a distribution deal with the office supply store, Staples, in a bid to boost its US sales presence. The software runs on Windows or NT and requires at least 48Mb of RAM and will be available in April priced at $200.