[access-uk] Re: Apple VS Windows

  • From: "Yusuf" <yusufaosman@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 10 Dec 2007 20:55:10 -0000

Ray, Thanks for your thoughtful response. I'm one of those users that
doesn't care what I use just so long as I can get the job done. I'm not tied
to Windows as such its simply a means to an end. Saying that however it is
the thing I'm used to and before I considered changing I'd need to be sure
that I'd have the same capabilities that I do now. From what you've said it
doesn't sound like we're there yet but if all goes well maybe in a couple of

I'm definitely going to go on the net and have a look at demos of Mac with
the Outspoken software and when I can I'm going to go and find a Mac store
and have a play.

On the adaptive company side Kurzweil have always had an excellent ethos, I
feel, they always add good features in their upgrades and they are always
around £100. Added to that they always listen to their customers like GW

I suppose I am really concerned about the strength that MS would get if they
entered the screenreader market. If I remember rightly them putting IE in to
the operating system was one reason why Netscape (I think that was its name)

----- Original Message ----- From: "Ray's Home" <rays-home@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Monday, December 10, 2007 8:05 PM
Subject: [access-uk] Re: Apple VS Windows

Yusuf, from my eaves dropping on the Apple lists, I'd say the screen
reader development will continue, if only for the sake of the American
ADA legislation.  Which ever way you argue it, that was a big factor
in Apple doing what they've done with Tiger, and now the enhancements
in Leopard, including very good Braille support that is plug 'n' play
and even usable for upgrading the OS.

Talking of upgrades, the OS X system seems to have been updated
roughly on a yearly cycle so far, though Leopard was longer in the
pipeline than expected, partly because resources were diverted for a
time to the IPhone.  There are though interim tweaks and updates to OS
X and this well may include the System Access components.

I think most of what you asked is achievable with the Mac now, though
access to the web in Safari still leaves room for considerable
improvement.  A lot depends though on whether software developers
stick to the rules in development in Coa Coa, as I believe its
called - might have spelt that wrongly but that's how it sounds.  In a
way this is close to what GW Micro always strives to do;  persuade
developers to write programs properly to include accessibility, though
I imagine the comparison can only be taken so far.

With Office 2008 for the Mac due soon, we shall see what we shall see
with regard to Office apps being accessible.  If what I've just said
is correct, then much of whether it is usable on the Mac will depend
on whether MS follows the rules, so you can blame them if it doesn't
work out.

As far as scripting goes, I believe Apple Script, built into OS X is
as applicable to VoiceOver as any other Apple App.  My reading is thus
that we are only at the beginning of what might be achieved on the Mac
in the next, say, two years or so.

As for whether MS should get into the screen reader business, well
maybe with the more cost-effective solutions appearing - by witch I
mean cheaper and with deferred payments, then for many non-job or
education funded punters JfW will and probably should not be a player
at all.  (This is not to mention the constantly developing free
alternatives that may well serve many.)  A good deal of the FS problem
is around it being a Corporation of a very American mould, answerable
to shareholders where the bottom line is very much the bottom line.
Don't know how or if the recent investors behind FS will change or
reinforce this.  Other companies who are their competitors are private
businesses and have a bit more, err, Freedom, to inject some
conscience into their business model, including such things as good
support, and promoting the proper writing of software.  With them you
get a sense of some commitment to the craft and ethics of programming
every bit as much as the profit motive.  (The two aren't exclusive, as
some hard nosed buggers would argue.

So, probably no need of an MS access solution if a combination of
business focused on actual blind users as opposed to who will pay,
sort of model succeeds and, on the other hand, the Open Source
movement does come with the goods to the existent that the majority,
less well placed blind user, can get access on reasonable terms.


From Ray
I can be contacted off-list at:

-----Original Message-----

I've changed the subject to reflect where this topic seems to be

Before I'd consider changing from Windows to an Apple I'd have to be
convinced of the following.

1. Apples commitment to continued support of their Screenreader. Yes
its got
one now but how often will it be upgraded, how significant is the
Screenreader side of things in terms of the overall development of the
operating system? I mean will the Screenreader be given the sort of
that VIP users need or will it get pushed below other things like
graphical support etc. At least the way things are at the moment with
Windows based PCs I know that Jaws, Window Eyes, Hal etc are going to

2. I have to be convinced that everything I can do at the moment
whether its
simple things like moving files, reading email etc or accessing
complex web
pages, creating documents in word with neumerous footnotes, headings
can be done by a Blind user using the Mac and its Screenreader.

Just on something that someone else said. Personally, I'd prefer
to stay out of the Screenreader business. Partly because they should
concentrate on their operating system and partly because I'm concerned
if Microsoft implemented a Screenreader into the operating system the
Screenreader manufacturers would quicly go out of business and we'd be
with one dominant Screenreader player.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Ankers, Dave (UK)" <Dave.Ankers@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Monday, December 10, 2007 5:29 PM
Subject: [access-uk] Re: Preventing malware?


I think "DOS" perfectly describes what the programmers at Microsoft
all day!  considering how "Popular" windows is, I would have thought
they would have made it fully accessible by now without the need for
adding expensive software like JAWS.  It is a fact that most people
use Apple Macs, swear by them, unlike the rest of us, that swear at


Dave says

"Reliable, easy to use!! I hope you aren't referring to Windows and

Would you  want to turn clock back to the days of DOS?

Oh I  miss the "bat" files. Remember how we could create a file,
would then do  a number of  commands automatically.

Regards, Derek
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