About 10 days ago, we were tipped off by a reader that Dragon Naturally Speaking prices were SUPER low on Amazon.  At the time, you could get Dragon Naturally Speaking Version 10 Basic (an excellent program) for just $29.99!  Prices have gone back up (just a little bit), but that software is still only $42.99 new.  That’s less than the $89 retail price it normally sells for, and only about $13 more than it was selling at when it was the cheapest its been in years and years.

Someone asked me the other day if I thought maybe version 11 was getting ready to come out.

I do not have any inside information on this one way or another.  However, I have worked in product pricing in a past career, and I would hazard to say that it would appear that this recent price drop is either one of two things

1. Amazon is selling the product at very discounted levels with or without the permission of Nuance.

2.  Nuance is not coming out with a version 11 anytime soon. 

I think the second option is more likely.  I find it very doubtful that Nuance would sabotage the perceived value of Dragon Naturally Speaking by selling version 10 at prices one half the amount the product sold for originally.  Doing so would fill a lot of demand, demand that might not be willing to shell out more money for a version 11 upgrade.

I’m guessing that version 11 is probably at least a year away, and Nuance is simply trying to squeeze out more sales during a very tough economy for software sales.  Version 10 launched into the very start of the economic crisis last fall.  From my own experience with an extremely modest affiliate account on dragon (might get a referral per month these days) I saw sales go completely flat in October last year, only 2 months into the launch of Dragon Naturally Speaking version 10.  That didn’t pick up at all until after the beginning of the year and since then, things have been anemic at best.

Now, it would also appear that Nuance is letting their affiliate channel move forward on auto-pilot.  Pricing for Dragon Naturally Speaking through the affiliate program still sells at full retail price through the Nuance site, even with Amazon running these amazing deals.  Maybe Nuance doesn’t want to sell produt through their own site?

That may sound crazy, but if for some reason they actually packaged up a large number of units and Amazon has them sitting in a warehouse (no idea why they would have a JIT solution in place) but in that case, it might make sense for deep discounts at Amazon even at the expense of direct sales.