[guispeak] Fwd: windows 8 narrator, provides hype and not hope

  • From: Jamal Mazrui <empower@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: guispeak@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2012 07:48:19 -0400

I have not independently evaluated the statements below, but the author is a respected colleague with considerable expertise in this area, so I think the message is worth sharing.


Jamal

-----Forwarded Message-----
From: John J Herzog [mailto:johnjherzog@xxxxxxxxx]
Sent: Sunday, March 25, 2012 1:12 AM
Subject: windows 8 narrator, provides hype and not hope

Hello everyone,
I just completed a podcast explaining how narrator works in the new windows 8. Here is the link, and below are my opinions. I urge you to share this with every blind person you know, before our time to change things for the newest windows has passed.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/15813782/windows%208%20narrator%20demo.mp3

Ok, now here are my thoughts. Long story short, Narrator is incredibly disappointing, and yet Microsoft is emphatically stating how great the upcoming accessibility will be on their developer blog. I am sending this podcast to all of you with the hopes that you will have ideas on how we can encourage blind consumers to pressure Microsoft to do better. It is clear to me that Microsoft is interested in nothing more than positive publicity for helping everybody out, yet does not want to put in the effort to give the blind a truly usable screen reader. Louis, narrator is no better in the consumer preview than it was in the developer version of windows released last September. Microsoft claims that over 100000 changes were made from the first preview of windows to the current beta. And yet nothing was done for accessibility in that time. If we do not voice our disappointment as a community, then the final version of windows will likely not contain further accessibility improvements. To Marlaina and everybody else, you need to give this a listen to understand what Microsoft claims they are doing versus what they are actually doing. Scott, I know you were with me when I produced this tonight. However, I cannot find the link needed to submit this to the blind cool tech web site. Maybe one of you can get this posted to serotalk? If not, then I hope you all will share this with every other blind person you know. I normally don't get upset when things won't work as advertised. However, Microsoft really should know better than to produce such a flawed access solution. When better screen readers can be found in free operating systems such as Linux, there is a definite problem that needs to be addressed. And when they market accessibility, they really should have a product that stands up to the claim that it makes windows an inclusive operating system for everybody.
I don't mean to rant, but give this a listen and let me know what you think.

Thank you,
John



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