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Bruce, Caroline

Panicking the Masses

The so-called blindness community, if not worse when it comes to
panicking, is certainly an exceptionally good example of the phenomenon.

An article was posted today to one of the lists, talking about how
Microsoft, in its next incarnation of Windows, wants to support touch
screens. Two things happened. One group of people turned on
sky-is-falling-down mode, implying that all computers, to comply with
the next version of Windows, will be operated exclusively by touch
screens and keyboards and mice will be a thing of the past. Since this
is clearly, to borrow from Colonel Potter, horse hockey, I just shake my
head. Then there's the GW Micro crowd, a bunch of people who believe
that, if a nuclear war were to break out which destroyed the Earth ten
times over, GW Micro would have a solution to save all Window-Eyes
users. It's laughable.

And where does this incredible loyalty to GW Micro come from? Humanware
is two weeks late in coming out with a patch for the Victor Reader
Stream. They never promised the patch, they said the plan was to have it
out by a certain time, and it took a little longer than expected. So
they're two weeks behind, and the public outcry is astounding.
Name-calling, abusive references, the works. GW Micro says they'd like
to have a public beta of Window-Eyes 7 out for the CSUN conference in
March. Here it is, almost June, no public beta. No one's complaining.
They're all praising GW for "taking the time to get it right".

GW also says that they've, in effect, stolen all of JAWS's top
scripters, and they're all singing the praises of GW's scripting ability
for Window-Eyes. I've learned to take very little of what GW Micro says
serously. They're phenomenally good at making customers feel that
they're being listened to, when the reality is that if an idea is put
forward that GW staff don't want, it'll get shelved, and the person who
put the idea forward will kiss GW Micro's feet in eternal grattitude for
... Something or other. I don't know how this company does it, but GW
could double the price of Window-Eyes and users would thank them for it.

Comments

Love the MASH reference, btw.

Maybe the GW crowd is the blind community version of the MAC loyalists?

company loyalty

Just as an FYI, FS has also stolen other companies' scripters, and their price for JAWS is nearly double what WindowEyes costs. Seems to me there is quite a bit of FS loyalty around, but that doesn't bother you...? Just some observations.

Re: company loyalty

A few counter-observations, these rooted in fact. I don't know from whom FS would have stolen scripters, since until now no competing product had scripting. Secondly, the price of JAWS standard and Window-Eyes is identical, $895. One can assume that the price for Window-Eyes will go up with the release of version 7. Yes, if you want JAWS professional, you will be paying $200 more, but that is nowhere near double the price of $895.

Re: company loyalty

WindowEyes used to cost a lot less, and you bet people complained about the price of JAWS.
So are you suggesting that GW Micro should have released a flawed product, just so they'd have it out for CSUN? Personally, I'm willing to wait for a stable product. I actually do think GW Micro listens to its customers. I can't think of one negative experience I've had with them. When I've had support questions, they've always been very snappy about getting back to me. You seem to imply that the mark of a successful company is the number of disgruntled customers. I'm not sure I can go along with that.
My opinion of GW Micro began to deteriorate when they insisted on charging me $200+ just for shipping to Canada when I wanted a braille manual. But my point was that Humanware was delayed by two weeks and they were demonized, while GW is behind their schedule by three months and they're cannonized.
I figure it's just how people do things and handle them. If the GW Micro crowd handles it that way, and you use JAWS, what's the big deal? Obviously, their really happy with their products, which is awesome. As far as this touch-screen goes, that's not even going to be for a few years or so, and the last time crap like this happened, we were able to use windows just fine.
People are just mightily inconsistent, aren't they?