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Love Letters, Hate Mail


Kelly -- just want to say I love your newsletter. I know you get it all the time, but I really appreciate the sometimes brutal honesty you write with!

Keep up the good work.

Sean B
New York, NY

Dear Sean,

If you keep on reading, I'll keep on shootin' from the hip. :-)

Cheers,
Kelly

Kelly,

Great piece and very insightful. We're in an even smaller boat. Terrific idea, reasonably good management team, limited capital. I'll keep you posted on how we turn out. (In response to: "Stop the Music")

Regards,
Alan G.
Fair Oaks, CA

Dear Alan,

You can never underestimate the importance of a good idea. As far as limited fundage goes, I'm a firm believer that necessity is the mother of all invention. When money gets thrown at ideas indiscriminately, it too often makes otherwise sharp entrepreneurs dull and lazy.

If this latest market meltdown teaches us anything, it'll be how to adjust to the "new" new economy. I don't have any doubt the cream will rise to the top.

Best of luck with your future endeavors and do keep me posted.

Warm regards,
Kelly

Hi Kelly,

Since I was considering purchasing the Naturally Speaking Mobile version 4 product, I was glad I had a chance to read your article concerning Lernout & Hauspie's Dragon Systems purchase. I noticed that the Dragon company does not offer a 30 day money back guarantee, as do some other voice recognition software companies, so I was concerned that the product would not deliver as billed.

The price has in recent months become very low since discounts and rebates are now being applied to this product. Are the rebates being offered because of the buyout? Will there be adequate technical support for these Dragon products once the companies have completely merged? Do you expect any rapid advance in the voice recognition software technology as a result of L&H's drive to buy up all its competition and utilize the various combined technologies? (In response to: "Read My Lips")

Dave B.
Columbus, OH

Dear Dave,

You have reason to be concerned. Speech recognition software has a long way to go before normal human beings find it anything more than a passing fancy. While I don't need any pie-in-the-sky research report to tell me the software CD works best as a beverage coaster, here it is anyway:

According to Forrester Research analyst John Dalton, abandonment rates among users of state-of-the-art speech-recognition software like Voice Xpress can be as high as 50%.

The rebates are being offered in an effort to move the product off shelves to make way for the next generation of speech recognition software. I'm sure that there'll be adequate post-sales technical support, and the merger isn't likely to affect business operations. As far as what's on the horizon, as PCs get beefier, so goes speech recognition software. But if you're waiting to toss out the keyboard, don't hold your breath.

For a terrific speech recognition product review check out my favorite techno guru Ed Baig's L&H Voice Xpress test drive here.

Any questions or comments, love letters or hate mail? As always, feel free to forward them to kblack@internet.com.

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