Nuance just dropped a new Dragon dictation product in the Mac App Store called Dragon Express ($49 introductory price), a scaled-back, less expensive version of their Dragon Dictate software. This new version will reside in Lion’s menubar, allowing you to activate the dictate window with a keyboard shortcut or mouse click, and begin converting your speech to text immediately. From there you’ll be able to quickly email it, run a web search with the text, copy it, or share to the usual social networking suspects.

“Dragon Express is a great app for those who are new to speech recognition or who are looking for an easy-to-use dictation tool that allows them to use their voice instead of typing,” said Peter Mahoney, senior vice president and general manager, Dragon, Nuance. “For those looking for a more full-featured speech recognition program, we recommend Dragon Dictate, which provides the full capabilities of advanced speech recognition technology.”

Nuance speech recognition technology is currently baked into Apple’s Siri voice-controlled assistant, although Siri co-founder Norman Winarsky told 9to5Mac in a recent interview it could likely be replaced if “better speech recognition comes along”. If you’re wondering how Dragon Express stacks up against their full-fledged dictate software, Nuance posted the chart below comparing the feature sets of the two apps:

 (via MacStories) comparing features of Express and Dictate

Full press release after the break (via MarketWatch).

BURLINGTON, Mass., Nov 10, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Nuance Communications, Inc., today announced the immediate availability of Dragon Express, an introductory voice recognition app for Mac OS X Lion. Dragon Express is an easy and fun way to put words to work without the hassle of typing, allowing users to do more in less time. Dragon Express is available exclusively for download from Apple’s Mac App Store.

Dragon Express is the latest member of the Dragon family of speech recognition software that lets people control a computer with their voice. It’s the fast, hands-free way to turn speech into text, whether sending email, surfing the Web or posting an update to Facebook and Twitter. Dragon provides an easy, natural way to get more done in less time. Dragon Express is priced to provide the broadest range of people with an opportunity to experience the power and performance of speech recognition.

“Dragon Express is a great app for those who are new to speech recognition or who are looking for an easy-to-use dictation tool that allows them to use their voice instead of typing,” said Peter Mahoney, senior vice president and general manager, Dragon, Nuance. “For those looking for a more full-featured speech recognition program, we recommend Dragon Dictate, which provides the full capabilities of advanced speech recognition technology.”

Dragon Express can be conveniently accessed from the menu bar at any time and doesn’t require a network connection. Users dictate directly into the Dragon Express window, using the internal Mac microphone or a USB headset microphone (which can be purchased via http://www.nuance.com ), and the text instantly appears in the Dragon Express window. When finished, Dragon Express places the transcribed text into the application of choice. The download comes with a short enrollment so that the app can better recognize a user’s unique voice.

Dragon Dictate, the most full-featured and advanced speech recognition software for Mac OS, was recently updated to version 2.5. Dragon Dictate 2.5 includes many features beyond those in Dragon Express. These features include the ability to dictate directly into applications, edit, format and correct recognition errors by voice, open and close applications by voice, control the mouse by voice, create custom voice commands and support for the recently released Dragon Remote Mic app for iPhone.

Dragon Express Details

Media: Application download from the Mac App Store available here. Pricing: Introductory price of $49.99 Platform: OS X Lion only Languages: English (US and UK) System Requirements: OS X Lion

About Nuance Communications, Inc

Nuance Communications, Inc. is a leading provider of voice and language solutions for businesses and consumers around the world. Its technologies, applications and services make the user experience more compelling by transforming the way people interact with devices and systems. Every day, millions of users and thousands of businesses experience Nuance’s proven applications. For more information, please visit http://www.nuance.com .

Trademark reference: Nuance, Dragon and the Nuance logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of Nuance Communications, Inc. or its affiliates in the United States and/or other countries. All other company names or product names referenced herein may be the property of their respective owners.

SOURCE: Nuance Communications, Inc

Note: Amazon has Dragon Dictate 2.0 (free update to 2.5) for $135

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