informative material about Freedom Sci

I don't want to start a huge, off-topic thread here because the cost of J=
AWS
is briefly mentioned.  But, however, there is material in the text below
that I thought quite informative and interesting about Freedom Sci's staf=
f.
I took this part of a message from another JAWS list I am subscribed to.
Bob Smith


 Jane,

 I agree, that for some, JAWS is priced relatively high in respect to
income.
 However, when making comparisons with the lower cost screen reader
products,
 it is a bit fool hardy to compare on cost alone.

 As the old saying goes "you get what you pay for".  If you think of the
cost
 as not being for the cost of the product, but for the personnel hours
taken
 to develop it, support it, test it and so on.  Freedom Scientific
unarguably
 have the biggest number of developers found in a screen reader company,
this
 allows them to develop more support, in more depth and for a wider range
of
 products than other screen reader vendors can.  All right, this point
 depends on what you want to use your computer for.  If you just want to =
do
 really limited stuff on Word, write basic emails and look at basic web
 sites, then JAWS is probably the wrong product for you, but if you want =
to
 do more, as most users do, then JAWS will offer you the most abilities t=
o
do
 what you want.  As people who rely on access technology to give us the
 abilities to do things, then JAWS offers us the greatest amount of
abilities
 to get the most out of our computers be it for work, academia or just fo=
r
 leisure purposes.  So, in terms of functionality, you definately get wha=
t
 you pay for.

 The greater number of developers also allows Freedom to develop new, nov=
el
 and cutting edge functionality to go into their products.  JAWS was the
 first screen reader to support Excel, the first to offer quick navigatio=
n
 keys on the web, the first to support Powerpoint, to name a few of the
 cutting edge things Freedom have introduced into JAWS.  As someone who i=
s
 involved in the advanced research side of development at Freedom, then I
can
 guarantee this isn't about to stop, there's some great things being
planned.
 True, other companies can do this sort of thing, but it means taking
 developers away from what they usually do, meaning that the next version
of
 product x won't be supported, or the functionality in say Word won't be
 improved.  By Dan Weirich's own admission, the WE support for Word and
other
 Office products was very bad until recently. and Word is somewhere where
 JAWS has been strong for a long time.

 I can understand your point about the high cost, but would encourage
 everyone making comparisons not only to look at cost, but to look at the
 functionality as well.  No two screen readers are alike, except in the
 product category.  It's a bit like comparing Windows to Linux, both are
 operating systems, butboth are completely different.

 When deciding upon a screen reader, it's like any other piece of softwar=
e,
 or any other products.  You have to decide what you need from that
product,
 how much value to you put on having to have those abilites, and make a
 decision on which screen reader product is right for you.

 Oh yes, a lot of staff at Freedom are blind as well.  Chris Hofstader,
Vice
 President of Software Engineering is blind, James Datray, lead scripter =
is
 blind, as are many others, and oh yes, Ted Henter, who created JAWS for
DOS,
 and Glen Gordon, the Cheif Technical Officer, who created JAWS for
Windows,
 they're blind too.

 Will



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