Office 365 And JAWS 18: Windows Software: Accessible Web Host’s Internet 101.

As of December 12, 2016; I’ve finally moved away from Office 2010 and have an annual subscription to Office 365. Having more than one aged Windows 10 powered computer; I had no desire to drop around four-hundred bucks on computers that may or may not make it another four years. So, “Yeah,” I felt that the ninety-nine-dollar annual fee was rather worth it.

Of course, one of the driving factors behind my decision to change to office 365 was my upgrade to JAWS for Windows 18. Immediately upon upgrading to JFW, and then starting to work on a Word document using Office 2010, I could see there was going to be trouble. I’m not going to get into the specifics of what trouble I was experiencing. However, I will say that it was disappointingly counterproductive and just leave it at that.

JAWS for Windows 18 works reasonably well in Office 2016; the platform offered with an Office 365 subscription. “And,” what JAWS can’t seem to manage, Narrator itself seems to provide the necessary support for. It should also be noted here that Narrator can’t read documents opened with Office 2010, even running in the Windows 10 environment.

This difference in Narrator functionality between office 2016 and Office 2010 suggests to me that the Windows code is radically changing. If my suspicion is correct; I’m guessing that the only way that Freedom Scientific is going to be able to clean up their act with JAWS is by focusing on creating a JAWS for Windows that works in the Windows 10 environment and newer office software versions; rather than trying to improve upon a one size that fits all screen reading application.

“However,” regardless as to what Freedom Scientific does or doesn’t do about their approach to future versions of JAWS for Windows; one thing is clear to me. If you’ve already updated to Windows 10 and are looking for a better Microsoft Office software experience, your best bet is to stay current with your Windows OS and applications. “Sure!” It’s true that upgrading will require extra money to be spent in the short term. But the way I see it; the time saved in the long term will be, “Priceless!”

Author: Brian Schnabel

[Send Email]: Because it's all about how you feel; I’m plugin it all in here via Microsoft Word 2016, Windows 10, JAWS 18.0.4321 and the screen reader accessibility of WordPress 4.8.2.

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