[BCAB] JAWS versus Window Eyes

Michael A. Ray mike.ray at btinternet.com
Fri Feb 15 12:09:04 GMT 2013


Barry,

Unfortunately such a test wuld not work with a single user.  Whichever 
screen-reader was used first, the user would almost invariably favour 
that one.  And you couldn't use just the same number of users as 
screen-readers because everybody is different.

It took me ages to grasp the nettle and ditch Supernova in favour of 
NVDA because I was simply nervous of the switch, especially for web 
browsing.  In the same way as I was slow to switch from IE to Firefox, 
because familiarity with the IE keystrokes kept me there.

In my view there are two very simple reasons why Jaws keeps the lion's 
share of the market despite being outrageously expensive.

The first of these reasons, and the most important, is that Jaws is very 
often the first screen-reader a blind user will encounter, either at 
school or college.  Despite there being cheaper alternatives, and now a 
superb zero cost alternative, education establishments and government 
agencies continue to buy the commercial products.

The second reason is the amount of money the US government gives Freedom 
Scientific.

The commercial boys know about the first reason.  That's why, like 
drug-dealers they will give you the first fix either free or at low 
cost.  They know you will have to come back for more.

And then there's the RNIB, doing things like charging a thousand quid 
for a tuppeny ha'penny net-book with Jaws on it and not telling you that 
12 months down the line the shark will take another great bite out of 
your wallet.

Mike


On 13/02/2013 16:06, Barry Toner wrote:
> Hi,
>
> I've used Window Eyes for about 3 years.  I set myself a challenge and ditched the shark.  While Window Eyes is very powerful in all honesty I ended up ditching it in favour of NVDA because the browse mode in Window Eyes got progressively worse.  There are some die hards who have also dropped it for this reason.  I also found as the versions went on the claim about stability decreased as well.  Some of this can be blamed on third party scripts, but my gripe is if GWMicro are hosting these scripts they need to have a quality of control in place.  I know there may be loads who will say they've never seen this but I seen Window Eyes crash on new machines after installation and reboot.  This was in version 7.5 the last I saw it.  This could be blame on hardware but honestly?  Imagine giving that to a complete novice?  JAWS isn't much better but on Windows machines as an IT Technician and Sys Admin I'm using a combination of JAWS and NVDA.
>
> Something I'd love to do.   For an acid test I'd install each screen reader on a machine, then set a novice down and set them basic tasks.  I've honestly nothing to gain professionally or personally on the outcome.  I'd suspect though that the results would be JAWS, NVDA then Window Eyes.  For me I haven't touched Supernova since v5 some years back.  It would be interesting to see a complete novices views.  Someone who isn't bias in any shape or form and someone who hasn't learned to either live, workaround, or fix problems with the Screen Reader.
>
> Barry.
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Bcab [mailto:bcab-bounces at lists.bcab.org.uk] On Behalf Of Steve Nutt
> Sent: 13 February 2013 15:49
> To: 'BCAB Discussion List'
> Subject: Re: [BCAB] JAWS versus Window Eyes
>
> Hi Phil,
>
> I think what you are saying is no longer accurate.  Window-Eyes has a more
> diverse scripting language, because it uses Com Automation, whereas JAWS has
> its own proprietary language, as does Supernova, which can in some instances
> be limiting.
>
> Also there is the price factor.  Only one price for Window-Eyes, £595.00,
> whereas if you have any professional operating system, you end up paying
> about 300 quid more for JAWS professional.
>
> Disclaimer here, i am a reseller of Window-Eyes, but there is so much
> inaccuracy going on about scripting that I thought I should put the record
> straight.
>
> All the best
>
> Steve
>
> --
> Computer Room Services
> 77 Exeter Close
> Stevenage
> Hertfordshire
> SG1 4PW
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> Email: steve at comproom.co.uk
> Web: http://www.comproom.co.uk
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Bcab [mailto:bcab-bounces at lists.bcab.org.uk] On Behalf Of Agent Orange
> Sent: 13 February 2013 15:40
> To: 'BCAB Discussion List'
> Subject: Re: [BCAB] JAWS versus Window Eyes
>
>
> Louise,
>
> As much as I would rather not admit it, I believe that, in most professional
> contexts, and assuming price is not a primary consideration, Jaws still
> usually has greater potential to provide the most comprehensive screen
> reading access to Windows applications.  This is particularly so when its
> scripting language is utilised.
>
> This is not a criticism of WindowEyes, which is also a good product, and
> less expensive than JAWS.
>
> I'm sure others will have their own views.
>
> Kind regards
>
> Phil
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Bcab [mailto:bcab-bounces at lists.bcab.org.uk] On Behalf Of Louise
> Cunningham
> Sent: 13 February 2013 15:33
> To: bcab at lists.bcab.org.uk
> Subject: [BCAB] JAWS versus Window Eyes
> Importance: High
>
> Hello List,
>
>
>
> Just seeking user opinion. For long term and maximum Windows PC
> accessibility, with the capability to hook up a Braille display, would you
> favour JAWS or Window Eyes. I've heard excellent reports about both of these
> screen readers, but which is best for both home and professional context?
> What are the differences? Does one do something that the other can't?
>
>
>
> Any advice, suggestions and opinions will be much appreciated.
>
>
>
> Thanks.
>
>
>
> Best regards,
>
> Louise
>
> --
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-- 
Michael A. Ray

Analyst/Programmer
Witley, Surrey, South-east UK

Ham Radio Callsign: G4XBF, licenced since 1982

'Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem' - Ockham's Razor

Use the NVDA screen-reader, not Scientific, just Freedom:
http://nvda-project.org/




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