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Microsoft Agent is a collection of ActiveX programs which provide an interactive interface on web sites and in desktop applications, using 3D Animated Characters. These characters are able to 'speak' via Text-to-Speech Synthesis, and a Text-to-Speech Engine. Microsoft currently has four Agent Characters, as shown below.
 
MERLIN2.GIF (5283 bytes) GENIE2.GIF (4488 bytes) PEEDY2.GIF (3309 bytes) ROBBY2.GIF (4999 bytes)
   Merlin       Genie       Peedy       Robby   
 
  Requirements for running applications making use of the Microsoft Agent:
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 or higher.
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer.
  • Microsoft Agent Core Components (msagent.exe, 395 Kb)
  • Lernout & Hauspie TruVoice Text-to-Speech Engine (tv_enua.exe, 1Mb)
  • One or more Microsoft Animation Files: Merlin, Genie, Peedy, Robbie (1.5-3Mb, each)
To see a demonstration of the Agent, and Text-to-Speech systhesis, you will need these programs to be resident on your system. If you are running Windows 2000, Windows Xp, Vista or higher, this software should already be loaded on your system, although usually only the Merlin character is present. ( You can download the other three characters by clicking on the images below, in STEP 2.)

If the Agent program needs to be installed on your system, you may do so by taking the following steps:

Step 1: Go to the
Microsoft Agent Setup Status page, to check the current status of your system. Most Vista and higher, and many Xp systems are already able to run Agent programs, without making any downloads. Note: These programs do not require the Speech Recognition Engine.
Follow the links on the Status page, to download the Core, and/or Text-to-Speech modules, if they are not already on your system.
 
Step 2: Download one or more of the following Agent characters, by clicking on the image:
Or, you can download the Agent characters directly from Microsoft: Microsoft Agent Downloads.
 
Step 3: (Optional): Visit Microsoft Agent Setup Status page, for other options: different Language Modules, for example, so the Agents will speak in languages other than English: Microsoft Agent Setup Status
 
Step 4: After downloading the Exe files to a directory on your Hard Drive, run each of the Exe files by clicking 'Start', 'Run', and entering the full path to the Exe file on your PC. After each Exe file has been run, you may delete it from your Hard Drive.
 
Step 5. Proceed to the Agent Demonstration Page.
 
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