[access-uk] Re: End of Freedom?

Hi

I've always strived to be open and honest in my views on access kit.  The
bottom line is that we need it in order to make our lives as independent as
possible.  Some of it and the companies who manufacture it are better than
others, and there isn't such a thing as a perfect world.  They don't always
get it right, and there is room for improvement with everything.

Having said that, however, I personally don't like Freedom's practices and
the way they treat customers.  It never has sat right with me, and it never
will.  I enjoyed working for Sight and Sound for two years, but I always
held that view which takes nothing away from my former employers and the
high regard I have for them as people.  As a user though, I have to buy and
use what I feel is right for me, and while JAWS will continue to be one of
my tools, there are other and possibly better alternatives that I am
familiarising myself with.  Martin has a Mac as well as a Windows PC running
JAWS, so this is a new adventure and one I am warming to.  We have also
purchased Window-Eyes as an alternative to JAWS.  They all have their place,
and I think it is healthy for the industry, not to mention for the user's
pocket.  I just believe that if Freedom are so arrogant that they can charge
what they like for buggy upgrades that have no significant meaning for your
average user, then it is time for other products to shine.

That's about as diplomatic as I can be! (smile).


Kind Regards, 
 
J
 
 
Jackie Cairns
jackie.cairnsplace@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

-----Original Message-----
From: access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of
James & Nash
Sent: 06 June 2010 12:53
To: access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [access-uk] Re: End of Freedom?

 Hi Jackie,
On 6 Jun 2010, at 11:55, Jackie Cairns wrote:
> and I do believe that alternatives such as Voiceover for the Mac, 
> NVDA, Window-Eyes and System Access are beginning to thankfully make 
> an impact.
Thank you so much for recognising this. I have been using Voice Over since
its creation and I can tell you first hand that the latest incarnation of
Voice Over really has raised the bar not only in terms of expectation  or
accessibility, but also in terms of narrowing (perhaps completely removing)
the gap between Windows-based Screen Readers and Apple's own endeavours. I
would like to add a further comment to yours about alternative Screen
Readers making an impact and that is that Orca on Linux has also made huge
improvements.

As I said, it is really nice to see someone from one of the foremost Access
Technology providers being so open-minded about alternatives. If only other
providers and organisations were as willing to do the same at the very
least,  the landscape would be very different. 

TC
James Lyn Nash & Twinny


> My big issue with them is that they don't appear to care about customers.
> They invest thousands of dollars at the expense of visually impaired 
> people in taking out law suits against the opposition, and they come 
> over as being completely paranoid about their licensing policies.  
> There is no doubt that those of us who have invested so much time and 
> money in JAWS need that software to enhance our independence.  But I 
> don't like the FS ethos and apparent gravy train, and I do believe 
> that alternatives such as Voiceover for the Mac, NVDA, Window-Eyes and 
> System Access are beginning to thankfully make an impact.
> 
> Whether there is any truth in the persistent rumours about Freedom 
> will always be nothing but rumour until anything substantive materialises.
> 
> 
> Kind Regards,
> 
> J
> 
> 
> Jackie Cairns
> jackie.cairnsplace@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On 
> Behalf Of Barry G
> Sent: 06 June 2010 11:42
> To: access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Subject: [access-uk] Re: End of Freedom?
> 
> I must say too, a number of people are switching to the competition 
> because Freedom seems to be focussing on things like research-it that 
> does what you can do perfectly easily using a search engine on the web 
> whilst appearing to have left simple things like support in Windows 7 
> for word-processor and email to one side.  It seems to me like frills 
> over basic functionality, which looks to me to be taking your eyes off the
ball big time...
> 
> All the best from a continuing JFW user regardless but in hope, Barry 
> G
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Peter Holdstock" <peterholdstock@xxxxxxx>
> To: <access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> Sent: Saturday, June 05, 2010 3:36 PM
> Subject: [access-uk] Re: End of Freedom?
> 
> 
>> Yes JAWS does need to be updated regularly to keep up, but as so many 
>> people are having to cover the cost of the upgrades out of their own 
>> pocket there is a likelyhood many of them won't be able to afford to 
>> upgrade each time. How often do we ear of users using versions much 
>> lower than the current version. I am guessing that government 
>> departments will probably be the biggest purchaser of JAWS and most 
>> of them won't upgrade unless they really need to due to the limits on 
>> government spending at the
> 
>> moment in most countries.
>> 
>> I've always felt that lowering the price significantly for JAWS would 
>> in fact bring in much more revenue for Freedom Scientific because so 
>> many people are switching to the rapidly improving competition at a 
>> fraction of
> 
>> the cost.
>> 
>> Peter
>> 
>> --------------------------------------------------
>> From: "Neil" <temp@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
>> Sent: Saturday, June 05, 2010 11:37 AM
>> To: <access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
>> Subject: [access-uk] Re: End of Freedom?
>> 
>>> Hi all
>>> 
>>> Some points: Well really one main point, where did the information 
>>> come from?
>>> This isnt referenced anywhere in the statement and I cant find 
>>> anything on the web.
>>> 
>>> Surely Freedoms hardware business would be more likely to be sold as 
>>> it cannot be anywhere near as profitable due to the vast amount of 
>>> competition in that area.
>>> 
>>> Supposing that this does turn out to be true I am sure that a buyer 
>>> would
> 
>>> be found easily. Is Jaws not the most used screen reader worldwide?
>>> Jaws needs constant updates to keep up with the rapidly moving 
>>> technology
> 
>>> that is computer software and so a constant revenue stream already 
>>> exists
> 
>>> making it a viable business long term.
>>> Undoubtedly there are huge costs envolved in developing the software 
>>> for the same reason but as the financial situation has been going on 
>>> for around 2 years now would we have seen features like Tandem and 
>>> Research It if profitability was becoming a concern?
>>> 
>>> At this point I think that without more specific and robust 
>>> information we should not be concerned.
>>> 
>>> Neil
>>> 
>>> 
>>>> From: "Otto Zamora"<donttreadonme@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
>>>> Date: Fri, 4 Jun 2010 05:44:14 -0400
>>>> 
>>>> Morning,
>>>> 
>>>> In an advocate meeting yesterday, the subject came up reference 
>>>> Freedom Scientific, the company that among other things sports JFw.
>>>> Because the company is in the state of Florida, it came up on  a 
>>>> flag by
> 
>>>> an
>>>> analyst.
>>>> Seems this company is having bad money troubles, not surprising 
>>>> given the economy, but talk is that they are now looking to sell 
>>>> off some of their division, mainly their JFW area.
>>>> I am not sure who if anyone will buy this division, considering 
>>>> that there is an entity now selling a fully integrated package for 
>>>> only $700.
>>>> Besides a comprehensive screen reader, if the user chooses to get 
>>>> the package, there is a browser, along with a customed and fully 
>>>> accessible web sites, word processing, and E mail.
>>>> all of this can apparently be accessed either on line, or as 
>>>> individual program.
>>>> ad to that, the entertainment mogill, and you have a powerful tool 
>>>> indeed for the kind of money they are asking for.
>>>> Another side of the equation is the apple company, now selling 
>>>> computers already with speech on board right out of the box and off the
shelf.
>>>> Put these two aspects together, and you have a deadly combo that 
>>>> might very well result in a abrupt end to the JFW program.
>>>> Considering the way that technology is growing, older versions of 
>>>> JFW, will only work for a short while until the programs 
>>>> controlling the OS, begins to outgrow the application.
>>>> In seeing this package, one of the things which was pointed out to 
>>>> me, was the learning curve, which for the new package being sold by 
>>>> Mr.. Mike Calvo, is very short.
>>>> The user has the option to learn as little or as much as they want 
>>>> without real loss.
>>> 
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