Window-Eyes is customer driven, and its success depends on the people who use it. The following is a random testimonial from a satisfied Window-Eyes customer.
My introduction to text to speech came about as a result of using a dumb terminal that allowed me to access mainframe computers. This text to speech capable terminal also served as a device that permitted me to use micro computers that had the CP/M operating system installed.
When the IBM PC became common in the work place, I needed to find another method to continue working on those smaller computer platforms. My first DOS text to speech program was not as robust as the terminal I was using previously, however my choices were limited.
My next step to find software that would allow me to keep up with the changing technologies lead me to GW Micro. Using the Sounding Board and Vocal-Eyes gave me access to PC and MS DOS based systems that I never experienced up until then. The advantages of being able to take an external synthesizer and my text to speech software on a floppy with me where ever I went became obvious right away. I could go any where in the country along with my co-workers to take classes on the different computer systems work required us to be trained on then support. I could join in on all classes without worrying about having enough keys to install my access technology or using a text to speech tool that was known to frequently lock up a system.
The next time I needed to evaluate an adaptive product was when Windows was introduced into the work place. First I used Vocal-Eyes in several DOS windows, because all of our applications were DOS based any way. Although I was not able to access the Windows based menus, I had no trouble setting everything up since the first versions of Windows ran on top of DOS. I was able to set up my environments by accessing the text based configuration files.
Once I was finished evaluating four text to speech products I settled on Window-Eyes from GW Micro. The deciding factor was the ability to be able to move the mouse pointer around by using the keyboard. All the people with whom I worked or trained were sighted. It was important for me to be able to use the applications in the same manner they did. Window-Eyes didn't change how the keys on the keyboard reacted with Windows and the new Windows based applications.
To this day I can use Window-Eyes on many systems. I still take computer classes along side sighted peers. These classes include, but are not limited to, those using virtual machine technologies, Windows applications such as MS Office, and different network operating systems.
GW Micro products have taken me along the path of PC/MS DOS, QNX, Unix, Banyan Vines, Novell Netware, Lotus Notes, and Windows Server. Now as my career shifts toward using less technical skills to those softer and organizational ones, I am sure that Window-Eyes will be there with me either on a portable computer, optical disk, or USB memory device. Being able to focus on the applications and systems I have been using along this journey, instead of the adaptive technology, has allowed me to both learn and progress very nicely. For this I wish to say thank you GW Micro for being there, affordable, and stable.
Vic P, Winnipeg, Canada
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