Windows Live Writer likes Nuance's Speech Recognition Again

Dragon_Professional_Individual_version_14

For the longest time, I was a devout user of Windows Live Writer. I used Windows Live Writer to produce pretty much all of my articles on my website, but as Microsoft decided to lean away from supporting Windows Live Writer, I started looking for other alternatives. As my website [LEHSYS]is based off of WordPress, I started exploring options to produce my articles with that platform, but the experience for producing articles wasn't that robust; it was limited in many ways.

Unfortunately, there's not a lot of off-line blogging applications that are other decent quality. No one has actually stepped forward to produce something that is really a well-rounded option for blogging off-line, or making it very easy for authors to produce content.

In the spirit of producing content, I have been a longtime user of using Dragon NaturallySpeaking as well. Using voice recognition to create my articles makes it very convenient and productive.

Unfortunately, Nuance released a version of Dragon NaturallySpeaking (version 13) that I found that was completely abhorrent. Version 13 of Dragon NaturallySpeaking was a full step backward for me. The speech recognition software that was convenient to me before, was now a hindrance. I was forced to downgrade back to version 12.5. With that version I was able to continue using the speech recognition software in pretty much any application that I wanted to, but it didn't work very well with Windows Live Writer.

So there you have it. The off-line blogging application that I was accustomed to using was being forgotten by Microsoft and one of the most productive applications that I use all the time, Dragon NaturallySpeaking, was going through growing pains. There was several years where, between Microsoft and Nuance, is very difficult to say that creating content was easy or enjoyable.

But now, with the release of Windows 10, Microsoft Edge and the release of Nuance's Dragon Professional Individual [version 14], it seems that the world has come together again.

The performance between Dragon NaturallySpeaking's engine, coupled with Microsoft edge/Windows Live Writer, everything seems to be working very well.

Windows Live Writer uses the Triton engine from Internet Explorer, which is now Microsoft Edge. Nuance has tried to mitigate some of the shortcomings from version 13 of Dragon NaturallySpeaking, making it a little bit easier to use and a little bit more compatible with traditional applications.

Another reason that I am extremely happy to report that these two are working together again is that while Nuance's Dragon NaturallySpeaking engine [Dragon Professional Individual] has been updated, it still lacks a great level of compatibility with standard browsers [Google Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge].

My experience with Dragon Professional Individual is so bad with the standard browsers, that I can't compose articles on a consistent basis with the plug-ins that Nuance provides. The plug-ins that Nuance requires for the major browsers, to make them fully compatible with Dragon Professional Individual, doesn't work that well.

e.g.

  • with Google Chrome; as I'm dictating, randomly blank lines appear. Words are not capitalized. I can do corrections and sometimes my dictation is not picked up at all.
  • with Internet Explorer/Microsoft Edge; ironically, most of the time the dictation doesn't work at all. When it does work, I experienced much the same issues as Google Chrome. Words don't get capitalized, and in my experience, correction options don't work consistently.
  • with Firefox; has the same problems as the browsers listed above, but more of a mixture.

The overall picture is that Dragon Professional Individual is highly inconsistent in the browser. So I was very surprised that when I upgraded to Windows 10, I found that version 14 worked very well with Windows Live Writer and I was able to go back to using that application for composing blog posts. Like this one.

I have to honestly say that I feel like the compatibility between Dragon Professional Individual and the Microsoft-based browsers [Internet Explorer/Microsoft Edge] is what has made this union great again.

There's reports that Windows Live Writer is going to be going open source soon; and that's great. I can only hope to think that Nuance is going to continue to develop their speech recognition software to be more compatible with all software. In my experience, version 12.5 was the most compatible with all software, but later versions, like 13 and 14, has shown great improvement in performance and recognition. I'm optimistic going forward.

If you have any thoughts or opinions on this, let me know in the comments below...

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