Re: The answer is not to tell us that buying a new version of JAWS is the proper solution.

James Homuth

To be fair, Microsoft has done exactly the same thing with windows for ages. You install Windows 7 Ultimate from the exact same media as you install Windows 7 home from. The difference is all in the product key. Give it a different product key, the installer turns on the features that key unlocks. This is why you don't need to wipe your system if you're upgrading from home to pro or ultimate. windows 10 very probably works in exactly the same way. I've never been a fan of JFW's licensing system, particularly since they've gotten away from the ability to give back authorization keys you're not using (that's another rant for another thread), but it could always be a lot worse. You pay for a new major version of windows when it comes out, but those usually only come out every couple years - unless MS puts out a complete flop, but come on that never happens. JFW releases a major version of all its software at least once per year, and I get the impression - again, like Microsoft, drops support for previous versions shortly after. Imagine having to pay JFW prices annually?
Before someone jumps on me, I'm not saying this is the right way to do it. we've all given FS/HJ/VFO enough money over the years we've probably earned a long-term support license. HJ had years to do it and didn't. FS had years to do it and didn't. given recent and not-so-recent history, I don't see VFO doing it. I'd love to be wrong, but until I am, I'll just be thankful they're not trying to completely immitate Microsoft. In the meantime, I'm keeping an eye on the current state of Narrator.

From: [] On Behalf Of Tim Ford
Sent: May-17-17 3:14 AM
Subject: Re: The answer is not to tell us that buying a new version of JAWS is the proper solution.

All good points. 


My proposal, boiled down to its essence, is that FS should develop a new version that is back to basics, is as stable, responsive, and functional as can reasonably be done, for the relatively narrow set of tasks that average JAWS users ever do.  All the focus of adding complicated new features is fine for the power users, and charging them  more seems justifiable.


However, the JAWS “Professional” version is nothing more than activating the components necessary for large office systems, citric, etc.  I even learned that the unlocking key is the only difference between the two versions, so FS is selling as a premium pro version a software program that is exactly the same as the less expensive version. 

I understand that screen reader software development involves a relatively small target audience, and the profit factor is a major issue.  That said, a major re-structuring on how screen readers are developed seems now due.


  For us basic users, give us one that does what we need, does it well, and does not suddenly go silent or  lock up.  Make it available to all those currently using a properly registered copy of JAWS, regardless of how old a version, charge a reasonable one-time fee, and provide a quality overall JAWS experience.  For the vast majority of us JAWS users, several generations of JAWS has failed to provide that experience. 


I would quit using JAWS right now if it were not for the fact that I hate having to learn a new set of commands.  I do only what is or becomes necessary, and I imagine  aa lot of us share that attitude.


Tim Ford


From: [] On Behalf Of James Homuth
Sent: Tuesday, May 16, 2017 11:35 PM
Subject: Re: The answer is not to tell us that buying a new version of JAWS is the proper solution.


I guess it depends on whether or not FS/VFO still feels up to supporting older versions of JAWS. I know back when it was Henter Joyce (yeah, I've been around that long), they used to backport potentially major fixes to older JAWS versions. It also depends, I'd imagine, on your definition of an older version. I can see VFO deciding, for instance, okay we'll apply this fix to JAWS 18 and 17, but not 16. And if like me you're still on 14, I can see you being quite reasonably out of luck.

From: [] On Behalf Of Feliciano G
Sent: May-17-17 2:31 AM
Subject: Re: The answer is not to tell us that buying a new version of JAWS is the proper solution.

I agree. On Outlook 2013 with JAWS 17, new email notifications were not read. With JAWS 18, the email notifications were then read. I feel that an upgrade for that is not fair to the end user as it's not a special innovative feature... Sometimes, I wonder...


Regards,Feliciano For tech tips and updates, LIKE Follow  

On May 16, 2017, at 10:53 PM, Tim Ford <ttford@...> wrote:

Dear FS Support,

Before I begin, please note that I have also posted this email to a JAWS users list since the broader issue I raise applies to the JAWS community as a whole.

This email is a bit long, but I feel the points made below are important, enough that your top executive team should review the issues involved, to decide which priorities are most important.

Normally, I would have been happy to report to you that I had figured out a solution to a JAWS problem I previously reported to you, so that the information would be available to others.  However, after reading your email below, I did a bit of further testing of that File Explorer problem you say is fixed in version 18.  (My plan was to try NVDA.)  However, I decided to first give JAWS one more try, in part to refresh my memory on the matter.  With JAWS 17, I got to the trouble point, where JAWS was finding only the first of the usual 3 buttons, retry, skip, cancel.  (The problem is explained below.)  However, as I was on the retry button, something in the back of my mind caused me to try the right arrow key, instead of the usual tab key.  There were the 2 missing buttons! 

Windows 10 seems to make regular use of the arrow keys in situations where a tab used to be the process of navigating to all the buttons.  (This is hard on us JAWS users who, like myself, have for some 25 years have the tab key drilled into us as being a primary navigation step for accessing Windows operating system  components such as File Explorer.  (I will hopefully remember in the future to try the arrow if the tab does not do what it used to do, but I digress.) 

It concerns me, and should concern you, that you did not know this, apparently concluding that JAWS Version  17 was, and was to remain, broken in regard to this File Explorer common function.  Instead, you just steered me to a new version, with no mention of the dollar cost involved.  Since my email included my JAWS serial number, you could have taken the few seconds it would take to run my number and find out whether my existing paid license covered Version 18; it does not.

My JAWS license extends only to Version 17, and I have the latest of that.  Mentioning only a solution that involves having to pay for yet another upgrade is something your company should contemplate as the financial burden it is.  For an individual, JAWS is far and away the most expensive license of anything we have, and the impact is magnified by having to pay for expensive new versions.  I do not need JAWS 18; there is nothing in version 18 I would have found useful!

A basic issue like this one, broken buttons that had worked fine for all these years, qualifies in my mind as being something you would in good conscious want to fix for customers, no extra charge, and not just for customers who desire the latest.  Goodness, you are going to take a company position that unless the customer pays for the absolute newest version, they cannot expect any solutions to basic flaws?  Version 17 is now old and obsolete and not worthy of fixing basic bugs?  Sounds like the approach Microsoft is currently being roasted over with the world wide ransomware. 

Here is my overall point/recommendation.  Based upon seeing thousands of emails complaining about JAWS 18, I believe the best long-term corporate policy is for you to stop adding new features, which invariably end up breaking something else, and come up with a new and extremely stable and functional version.  I would pay a modestly reasonable  fee for that, and I believe others would as well. 

You could sell the idea as a solution/response to the bad example Microsoft has set in its withholding of the patch that would have stop that huge ransomware attack that happened this week.  Show how software customers should be treated!  Stand up and admit that all the advances came at the expense of stability of the basic JAWS product.

In closing, I also want to point out that you have not resolved my previously-reported issue where Excel 2010 does not work with JAWS and Windows 10; JAWS is completely silent and unable to read the contents of a cell; only the menus work.  I contacted Microsoft’s Accessibility Office. They recommended and installed/configured NVDA on my computer, as a work-around until JAWS was fixed.  They remotely installed and set up NVDA for me, and it reads those Excel cells just fine. 

Thank you for considering my points.  I appreciate that my suggestions involve what would be a radical notion in the computer software industry, but as demonstrated by the evidence of Microsoft’s culpability, a new approach that would serve as a leading example, seems timely.


Tim Ford

From: VFO Technical Support [mailto:support@...]
Sent: Tuesday, May 16, 2017 8:55 PM
To: ttford@...
Subject: re: Windows Explorer, skip button not recognized by JAWS.

Dear Tim

Thank you for contacting VFO technical support.

It appear this issue is addressed in the JAWS® screen reading software version 18.0 release. I recommend downloading the latest release of the JAWS 18.0 software from the link below and see if the issue persist.

•  JAWS 18.0.2740  64-bit English  - April 2017

•  JAWS 18.0.2740  32-bit English  - April 2017

Be sure to include all previous correspondence pertaining to this matter when replying to this message so that we might better assist you.


[name removed by Tim Ford for privacy of the individual support employee who sent this note.]

VFO™ | Technical Support Specialist

11800 31st Court North, St. Petersburg, FL 33716

T 727-803-8600


The information contained in this communication is confidential, may constitute inside information, and is intended only for the use of the addressee. It is the property of VFO™. Unauthorized use, disclosure or copying of this communication or any part thereof is strictly prohibited and may be unlawful.  If you have received this communication in error, please notify us immediately by return email, and destroy this communication and all copies thereof, including all attachments.

From: Tim Ford [mailto:ttford@...]
Sent: Saturday, May 13, 2017 12:38 AM
To: VFO Technical Support <support@...>
Subject: Windows Explorer, skip button not recognized by JAWS.

Dear Support,

I am running the latest version of Windows 10, Creator edition, and the latest JAWS 17 update.

When in Windows explorer, if I select one or more files, then try either delete or shift delete, the skip button is not available.  In folders such as \windows\prefetch, there are often 1-3 files to which this pertains.  I try JAWS in review mode, but the button is not spoken.  I tried the OCR approach by pressing the layered command to read the screen, and although JAWS did say it completed the OCR, the skip button is visible only when I arrow up and down.  But I cannot arrow left or right, in either JAWS review or OCR curser mode, to try and press the button.  The above are obviously just my playing around, and the button should be visible to JAWS in routine operation.  Please advise.

Tim Ford

JAWS #18178

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