NEWTON, Mass. After abandoning the Apple Computer Inc. platform when it appeared to be leaking, Dragon Systems Inc. announced Tuesday (May 11) that it has reboarded the platform that now appears to be solidly afloat. With Apple's iMac now the world's best selling PC, Dragon promised that its speech-recognition product will be running on the PowerPC in four languages by 2000.
Dragon (Newton, Mass.) calls its NaturallySpeaking engine the world's top-selling retail speech-recognition product, but it has heretofore been available only on PCs based on Intel processors.
"Since Apple brought out the iMac and its other G3-based PowerPCs we have been deluged with requests for a Macintosh version of NaturallySpeaking," said Janet Baker, chairman of Dragon. "We plan on honoring those requests with an English version later this year, and French, German and Japanese versions during 2000."
Dragon offered the PowerSecretary speech-recognition product for Apple Computers' Macintosh in 1996. This rudimentary speech engine permitted Macintosh users to issue simple commands and do limited staccato speech recognition. Though PowerSecretary was widely distributed by Apple with its new computers, Dragon never committed many resources to its further development.
In the ensuing years, Dragon all but abandoned the Macintosh platform, and focused instead on developing NaturallySpeaking for Intel-based PCs. In recent years, Dragon even abandoned upgrading PowerSecretary for the new Mac operating systems.
All that's changed now that the Macintosh is back on retail vendors' best sellers' list. Dragon now promises to surpass the rudimentary capabilities of PowerSecretary by offering the continuous speech-recognition capabilities of its NaturallySpeaking engine on Apple's G3-based PowerPCs.
"Now Dragon is bringing the full repertoire of its world-class speech-recognition software to the Macintosh. Dragon's return will capitalize on our built-in audio capabilities and our fast PowerPCs to make the Macintosh the premier platform for speech recognition," said Steven Jobs, acting chief executive officer of Apple (Cupertino, Calif.).