Pogue Says Windows-Only App ‘Runs Beautifully’ on Macintosh

David Pogue, reviewing Dragon NaturallySpeaking 9.0, a Windows-only speech-recognition utility:

NatSpeak also runs beautifully on the Macintosh. The setup is a bit involved: you need a recent Intel-based Mac, Apple’s free Boot Camp utility, a copy of Windows XP, and a U.S.B. adapter on your headset. And you have to restart the Mac in Windows each time you want to use NatSpeak. But if you can look past all that fine print, NatSpeak on Macintosh is extremely fast and accurate.

Rebooting into Windows is “fine print”? Jeebus. That’s got to qualify as the biggest “WTF?” Pogue has ever written. Saying that a Windows-only app “runs beautifully on the Macintosh” is a step down the road toward the disaster various Chicken Littles predicted when Boot Camp debuted, wherein software developers stop writing Mac OS X apps and tell Mac users to “just boot into Windows”. At least I thought they were Chicken Littles.

Methinks Pogue has been blinded by his personal devotion to speech recognition software — as he points out in the article, there is no native Mac speech recognition package that offers even close to the accuracy of NaturallySpeaking.

(Via Nat Irons, via email; Nat also observed that this opens the door to Dragon Systems using “The New York Times says ‘NatSpeak also runs beautifully on the Macintosh’” as an advertising pull quote.)

Friday, 21 July 2006