The upcoming SpeechTEK 98 show promises to be the largest ever, with many new products and applications being demonstrated. Our article on page 50 gives you a sneak preview of what to expect at the industrys leading conference and exposition, to be held Oct. 27-28 at the New York Hilton. Speech has become a real world product in 1998, and people in a wide variety of industries are discovering the value of speech recognition. Now-here is this more true than in the medical and health care fields, where speech is dramatically lowering the cost and improving the accuracy of medical dictation. Doctors across the country are finding that using speech recognition to dictate their reports saves time and eliminates errors. In our article beginning on page 42, we examine some of the latest in medical dictation software. One of the most important factors in making todays speech recognition systems work is the effectiveness of the microphone. Our article Choosing the Best Headset Microphone, beginning on page 34 will give you some insight into what makes a microphone effective with a speech recognition system and examines a sampling of the latest releases. As speech becomes more common, it naturally drops in price. But the drop in the price of speech products, particularly dictation software products, has been so steep as to leave some observers stunned. It also left us wondering what would happen to the speech VARs and dealers who did so much to support this technology in its early days. The dealers we contacted for our story beginning on page 31 gave us some insight into how they are prospering, even as the price of the product plunges toward zero. We hope you enjoy the issue, and look forward to seeing you at SpeechTEK 98.