Windows 10 Dragon/VoiceComputer

I’m sure that most everyone is interested in whether or not Dragon and/or VoiceComputer are compatible with Windows 10 Technical Preview and/or will be compatible with Windows 10 when it’s released.

The basic answer is YES, but there are some caveats:

1. Do not install Windows 10 Technical Preview on any work system. There are too many things that can go wrong if the install is not done correctly and you don’t understand how to do it properly. You can find yourself SOL if they do. If you have a system that you want to experiment with, the critical factor is that doing so is a caveat emptor situation.
2. Windows 10 Technical Preview does not have a “safe mode” per se. It is also a “Beta”, which simply means that not all features are implemented and/or available. If you make a mistake, you’re very likely to find yourself in a situation where you cannot recover from such.Dead That has already happened to at least two clients that I’ve worked with. During the process of installing Windows 10 Technical Preview, you are clearly warned, so take heed.
3. Now that I’ve scared everyone the death. Here’s how to do it correctly.

(a) if you’re going to install Windows 10 Technical Preview on a brand-new system which does not have a previous version of Windows installed on it, be aware of the fact that DNS will not install without first installing the spchapi.exe (SAPI 4.0a). There are several ways that you can do this, the easiest of which is to go to the following folder on a currently installed version of Windows with DNS and select the following files. The files that you need to be concerned with all have the date 1/12/1999. I’ve listed them below. There are 15 files that must be copied and archived (i.e., zipped) and then extracted to the same folder under Windows 10.

C:WindowsSpeechspchtel.dll
C:WindowsSpeechspeech.cnt
C:WindowsSpeechspeech.dll
C:WindowsSpeechspeech.hlp
C:WindowsSpeechvcauto.tlb
C:WindowsSpeechvcmd.exe
C:WindowsSpeechvcmshl.dll
C:WindowsSpeechVdict.dll
C:WindowsSpeechVText.dll
C:WindowsSpeechvtxtauto.tlb
C:WindowsSpeechWrapSAPI.dll
C:WindowsSpeechXcommand.dll
C:WindowsSpeechXlisten.dll
C:WindowsSpeechXTel.Dll
C:WindowsSpeechXvoice.dll

Until you do this on a clean install of Windows 10 Technical Preview, DNS will not install and it will not run. Note that if this is your only option, it must be done correctly all files noted above.

My recommendation is that if you are not familiar with this process and you are not familiar with installing a preview version of Microsoft Windows, DON’T. Just one mistake will require that you start over again from scratch. Using this procedure is not recommended for novice users.

(b) The easiest and the safest way to install the Windows 10 Technical Preview is to do it on a system that already has a version of Windows 7 or 8/8.1 installed with DNS and/or VoiceComputer. However, and again, don’t do this on a working system that you need for work. Carefully follow all the instructions and be sure that you select the UPGRADE option. This version of Windows 10 can take upwards of several hours to download and install, so be patient. The UPGRADE option is very nicely designed and will upgrade your Windows 7/8/8.1 very nicely including all of your currently installed applications (i.e., including DNS and VoiceComputer). Microsoft warns you that you may have to reinstall some applications, but you can do that through the Repair option if that is available. I only experienced this with one app. Using the UPGRADE option will also ensure that most, if not all, of your drivers are properly upgraded/updated if necessary. My experience was that I did not have to upgrade or update any of my drivers once the UPGRADE was completed. In addition, the upgrade will work with both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 7/8/8.1. If you use this approach, you do not need to uninstall DNS or VoiceComputer. Both will work properly after the UPGRADE.

© Lastly, there are some additional cautions:
1. If you have an antivirus program installed, Windows 10 Technical Preview, like Windows 8.1, has its own antivirus/antispam built-in application (i.e., Windows defender). As with Windows 8.1, it is not recommended to have multiple antivirus/antispam applications installed. Windows defender is more than sufficient and you may run into conflicts because the Technical Preview may not work properly with those antivirus/antispam applications. My recommendation is that you uninstall those before upgrading to Windows 10 Technical Preview.
2. You may not be able to install the final release of Windows 10 if you have the Windows 10 Technical Preview install. Microsoft says that it will not allow such. Regardless, we don’t know what will be possible and will not know until the final release is available, and that may not be available for several months. So, install the Technical Preview version with that in mind.
3. Also, relative to #2 above, the Windows 10 Technical Preview has an UNLOAD feature, which, according to Microsoft, will restore your system back to its original version of Windows so that you can install the Windows 10 final release. That being said, and given that there is no “Safe Mode” per se, if you boot up your system by pressing F8 as you would normally do to launch Windows in safe mode you will see that you have two choices: (a) continue with the preview, and (b) unload Windows 10 Technical Preview. These are the only two options you have. DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES USE MSCONFIG TO BOOT INTO SAFE MODE WITH WINDOWS 10 TECHNICAL PREVIEW. DOING THAT WILL EFFECTIVELY DESTROY YOUR SYSTEM. ALWAYS USE THE BOOT UP WITH F8 IN ORDER TO GET THE PROPER TWO OPTIONS NOTED ABOVE.
4. Programs like Malwarebytes, CCleaner, and other related applications may work properly because I did technote changes in the Windows registry between Windows 8.1 and the Windows 10 Technical Preview. However, be advised that most every utility application out there has not yet been tested and certified for Windows 10. Although it is most likely the case that most will work properly, that is a dangerous assumption. Therefore, exercise caution in using such. The only one that I have tested so far that seems to work properly is Registry First Aid 10.0. I have not had time to test any of the others.

My reason for testing with the Windows 10 Technical Preview is for the purpose of ensuring that DNS VoiceComputer work properly. They do and it was not necessary for me to uninstall DNS 13 prior to performing the upgrade to Windows 10 Technical Preview. Both DNS 13 and VoiceComputer 13.56.1 are working properly under Windows 10 Technical Preview. I cannot verify that earlier versions of DNS will work properly, but I suspect that DNS 12-12.5-12.5.1 and DMPE 2.2 will because both of those run properly under Windows 8.1.

The bottom line here is, again, caveat emptor. I haven’t had any problems with Windows 10 Technical Preview as of yet, but be advised that you are taking a risk. Installed and configured properly you should not have a problem with Windows 10 Technical Preview. Nevertheless, I need you are certifying or guarantee such. What I have posted here is simply FYI for those who are so inclined to try it.