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Bruce, Caroline

I Guess It's All Subjective

I subscribe to a lot of mailing lists, mostly because amid the hundreds
of useless messages I get a day, there is the occasional nugget of
useful stuff.

One thread which shouldn't have gotten started on the GW Micro list but
did is, "Why is Window-Eyes superior to JAWS?" These are both screen
reader programs for the blind.

First, you don't ask a question like that on the Gw Micro list ... Or
you shouldn't be allowed to, at any rate. Of course, GW Micro loves it,
because it's yet another chance for loyal Window-Eyes users to bow down
and kiss GW Micro's feet, something Window-Eyes users are wont to do,
for whatever reason.

Now, I don't believe Window-Eyes to be the superior product, not by a
long shot. It's a good program, it's given thousands access to the
computer and it's done so satisfactorally for most of those people.
Great. But in my opinion, and this is an unsolicited, personal,
completely unscientific opinion which may not necessarily be shared by
anyone else, i.e. I'm not speaking on anyone else's behalf here but my
own, JAWS has a much more intuitive interface. It is, in my view, laid
out much more to look and feel like a part of Windows whan Window-Eyes,
which always, always feels like an add-on to me. JAWS feels like a
Windows screen reader to me, while Window-Eyes has always felt, and
continues to feel, like a Dos screen reader modified to work with
Windows. Yes, I have tried both. Until last year, I was a fully licensed
and up-to-date Window-Eyes user as well, though my screen reader of
choice has always been JAWS.

But, as obviously right as my opinions seem to me, it's a very objective
thing. On the GW Micro list, I am reading people say that they feel
Window-Eyes to be far superior, that they feel the WE interface to be
much more intuitive, and that to them JAWS seems like a Dos screen
reader modified to work with Windows while Window-Eyes has a more
Windows look and feel.

It's the stranges thing, two camps taking very opposite stances, and
both sides astounded that anyone could possible think otherwise.


sounds like an altogether unproductive thread. For what it's worth though, I have seen just as many jaws people do quite a bit of foot-kissing to freedom scientific in their own right. It's interesting to me how many people are so fanaticly brand-loyal especially when it comes to assistive technology. It costs a great deal of money and I won't buy a product just because it has worked for me in the past. The braille note is a great example of this. Human wear used to be a great company; when they were pulse data. Now they are designing faulty product, have horrible technical support and the list goes on and on. I will not buy another braille note because of this. But I know so many people loyal to Human Ware and they will continue to give them their hard earned cash for what ever reason and they justify all of the problems with the product in a multitude of ways.

When it comes to A.T. my best bet is to do research and pay no attention to who made the product until later, because IMHO, none of these companies are good enough to merrit my blind loyalty.
I've never tried WE but I'd like to. From here on out; I'm a Mac girl.
I'm not saying you're wrong, but I honestly can't think of the last time I read anywhere in a public forum where anyone had anything nice to say about Freedom Scientific. Reading the JAWS-related lists and the Window-Eyes-related lists, the tone of the messages is in very sharp contrast.

As for Humanware, the only Humanware products I have are the Victor Reader Stream and the Victor Reader ClassicX Plus. Both of these products are excellent, wonderful products (althought the ClassicX Plus looks like it had been made by Fisher Price), that's all i know about Humanware.
I avoid computer lists because I deal with it this stuff at work so don't really want to read about it at home; grin. So I guess most of what I see is on blogs and when I see fellow blindies at conferences and such. If I were a heary, I'd buy the stream though. It is super cool!