Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Dragon Naturally Speaking … maybe just a hint of sleazeware?

So I’ve blogged about WinZip and Java with respect to their partnerships with what is called “Shovelware” like the infamous Ask toolbar and similar apps that provide mediocre functionality but infect your PC like a virus. This ticks me off.

So there is another aspect that I have not mentioned much. Call it “dribbleware” if you want. This is where a company makes a small product that you may or may not like, but they pester you every 6 months to upgrade to the next version, into which they have “dribbled” a tiny feature or two.

I fully understand the need to do this for people who want to make their living from a single small application like perhaps WinZip. But come on … the increments in WinZip 15.5 are unnoticeable to almost anyone using WinZip 6, never mind WinZip 15. So I finally got off the train and started using 7zip … and guess what? No difference. Except I am not being charged for upgrades (7zip is open source) and no one is pestering me to buy the latest dribbleware.

Now … Dragon. I like this application at version 12, but I still don’t use it much. It takes a different mind set to speak an article rather than just type it. But I want to get used to it again so I fired it up and lo, and behold, it offered an update to SP1 (service pack 1 in Microsoft speak.) So I said sure. After all, Windows 8 might need something from them because I have not run it since my OS upgrade.

And guess what …


Yup … free upgrade to 12.5. What a deal, go Dragon!

Only one issue though. They put the full court press on me to upgrade, including email and a phone call. This was only a few months ago and I decided I would wait for the price to drop from their “deal” at $99. So how does a 100% discount sound? Because that is what I got.

Seems a bit dirty to try and wring $99 out of me when SP1 was going to contain the new version. Hmmm …