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RE: Al Gore Impressed by Assistive Technology

From: Steve Donie <sdonie@zycor.lgc.com>
Date: Fri, 19 Nov 1999 16:17:17 -0600
Message-ID: <9F147E391A3FD111B9A800805F356C52C4A485@lgcadev001.zycor.lgc.com>
To: "'Gregory J. Rosmaita'" <unagi69@concentric.net>, Michael Burks <mburks952@worldnet.att.net>, Kynn Bartlett <kynn-hwg@idyllmtn.com>
Cc: WAI Interest Group Emailing List <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Gregory - 

Yes, the PR folks at Microsoft (not always those who are in the
Accessibility & Disabilities Group) do like to show off what Microsoft has
done. Many times they do not understand the positions that the MS A&DG has
taken (i.e. that Narrator is not a full functioning screen reader, or that
MS does not want to squash AT vendors), or the sensitivity that the
community has towards Microsoft's efforts. So they do a demo and try to show
what are "cool" features of Windows 2000, and they show that demo in it's
best possible light, and the recipient of that demo gets a good impression.

The reason that Narrator is not available in all languages is that there
aren't software TTS engines available for all languages...developing a TTS
engine is no small task (even for a big company like MS). 

Steve Donie

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

what a strange world it is that we inhabit -- microsoft employees have been
telling me and countless others that they aren't in the adaptive technology
business, and that they don't want to put AT manufacturers out of business,
that Narrator isn't intended to function as a screen reader, but then, why
sudden media blitz about Narrator with the focus clearly on its benefit to
blind users?  why the use of the term "screen reader" in the above-listed
at least the content of the pages pertaining to Narrator refer to it only as
quote a text-to-speech utility for users who are blind or have low vision
unquote, but then again, isn't that a common description of a screen reader?

oh, and one last tie-in to another thread -- according to the information at
the microsoft enable site, Narrator is not available for all languages...

Received on Friday, 19 November 1999 17:16:52 UTC

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