What Nuance needs to do in future Dragons

I have briefly used Windows Speech Recognition; a relative has Vista and asked me to fix her computer, so I set myself up an account and voice profile. For now, I’m still a Dragon follower for all of its flaws. I don’t think WSR has fully caught up yet, though what they do with it in Windows 7 should be interesting (and it has Vocola, too). However, I don’t think Nuance should be resting on their laurels with Dragon NaturallySpeaking anymore, either.

Here are some things I think Nuance needs to do if they want to keep their user base in the future. This list applies to Preferred; I think one or 2 of these things is available in the hideously expensive Pro version. If you have suggestions, feel free to comment.

  • Fix the missing “mouse middle click” command code already.
  • Build in the ability to press keys X number of times.

These are not unreasonable requests. We can do this with Vocola or other add-on programs, but these are not complex macros for individual programs that Nuance can’t be expected to anticipate or accommodate. These are basic keyboard and mouse emulation functions that work globally. I am incredibly grateful for Vocola, and encourage people to download it for as long as it is offered, because it does make programs a lot more accessible. After all, Nuance cannot possibly anticipate everything we want to use. This is what add-on programs should be used for. But basic keyboard and mouse replacement should be givens, and for ALL versions. Basic keyboard and mouse actions for general navigation should not be a “privilege” or a “bonus.”

I think Nuance is already getting a little bit desperate. Why else would they try to hook us with the line about Dragon 10.1 being “fully compatible” with Firefox 3? Holy borderline false advertising. Granted, it natively works a lot better than it did with 9+, but their definition of “fully compatible” must be different from mine. When most people see “fully compatible,” they’re going to assume that Dragon works exactly as well straight out-of-the-box as it does with IE. Most people are going to be very disappointed. This is because most people will not know how to tweak Firefox to make up for the elements that Dragon cannot yet work with.

Once you make some tweaks, Firefox is quite good, even if you don’t have an add-on command program. This is why I have not used IE for a very very long time. But Dragon itself CANNOT be compatible in the seamless sense of the word, because the Firefox developers have not written the browser in such a way that Dragon can fully “understand” everything. For Nuance to use such wording is dishonest.

So, here’s hoping that in the next version, Nuance actually listens to customer feedback. Nuance? Here’s another tip. If you want to send out customer satisfaction surveys, it is helpful to send out surveys for the products that your customers actually purchased. Please.

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