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
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.
Technical Support [mailto:support@...]
Sent: Tuesday, May 16, 2017 8:55 PM
Subject: re: Windows Explorer, skip button not
recognized by JAWS.
Thank you for contacting VFO
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 -
• JAWS 18.0.2740 32-bit English -
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
Technical Support Specialist
11800 31st Court North,
St. Petersburg, FL 33716
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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.
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.