Enabling accessibility

Windows 8 is a product we design for an incredibly broad spectrum of people around the world. One of the areas where we have worked to deliver an even greater level of innovation is in ensuring that Windows 8, particularly the new Metro style experience, is accessible to everyone regardless of their physical abilities. In this post we will talk about the engineering work that goes into the features we refer to as “accessibility” – though as you will see, many of these features are broadly applicable and just make the product better for everyone. If you are interested in Microsoft’s overall efforts in accessibility and related topics, please be sure to check out www.microsoft.com/enable. This post is especially important for developers building Metro style apps for inclusion in the Windows Store, as we are asking you to test the accessibility of your application prior to submission. I encourage folks who have never seen these tools in action to learn about them through the video. The upcoming beta will be a great chance for everyone to experience the product.

An important note.  With the next public release of code (later this month) we will see a significant improvement in the capabilities described in this post, but we still have work to do between beta and RC especially with regards to working with the latest releases of third party tools. I just want to make sure folks know that this post talks about improvements in the next release as well as functionality that will still be improving as we get to the release candidate.

This post was authored by Jennifer Norberg, a senior program manager lead on our HID team.


We want all users to be able to experience Windows 8 Metro style apps on their desktops, laptops, or the new touch-capable devices. This includes people with disabilities who rely on assistive technologies to use the PC.

About 15% of the world’s population has a disability1. In the United States alone, 49.6 million people have a disability2 and 45 million in Europe3. When it comes to interacting with computers, these disabilities affect individuals in a number of ways:

  • Visual impairments include color vision deficiency, low-vision and blindness – all of which may impact the individual’s ability to see content displayed on the screen.
  • Mobility impairments include arthritis, cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and paraplegia, which impact the ability to use the keyboard and/or mouse to interact with the PC.
  • Hearing impairments include conditions ranging from mild hearing loss to total deafness, and impact the individual’s ability to experience audio content generated by the computer.
  • Cognitive impairments impact an individual’s learning and language skills, the ability to comprehend words, and difficulty with memory, solving problems, or perceiving sensory information.

The rates of individuals with disabilities are also increasing across the world due to the aging population and increases in chronic health conditions. One of the consequences of the global aging phenomena is the impact it will have on the workforce. For example, in the US, workers aged 55 and older are anticipated to increase from 18.1 to 23.9 percent by 20185. That is more than one in five workers. Functional limitations as a result of aging (for example, presbyopia, the gradual loss of the eyes’ ability to focus actively on nearby objects, a condition that usually becomes noticeable in one’s mid-40s and continues to worsen until around age 65) will impact an older workforce’s ability to use technology that isn’t easy to see. As a result, there will be an increase in the number of working-age adults who are likely to benefit from the use of accessible technology.

New technologies and designs are especially difficult for people with disabilities to adopt because many new technologies are not made accessible when they are first released to the public. We have heard this concern about previous versions of Windows and we want to ensure that everyone can experience Windows 8 right away by providing a comprehensive accessibility platform for the desktop and Metro style features.

Our accessibility goals in Windows 8 are to:

  1. Improve the assistive technologies that are components of Windows, and provide a good experience with the Metro style UI.
  2. Provide developer tools that have baseline accessibility built in, so that accessible Metro style apps are available in the Store.
  3. Engage assistive technology vendors (ATVs) to adopt Windows 8 and build upon the accessibility scenarios.

Each of these goals and audiences are discussed in detail in this blog.

Past investments in accessibility

Before we look forward, let’s look back on the history of accessibility in Windows. In past releases, we established a foundation called UI Automation (UIA). UIA is used by developers to provide information about their code, and it’s how assistive technologies (ATs) access and use the information from the developers applications.

We’ve also shipped ATs as components of Windows:

  • Narrator is Windows’ built-in screen reader that allows people with visual impairments to interact with their system and applications. User feedback on previous versions of Narrator has consistently been that it needs to respond faster, read more controls, and support more languages.
  • Magnifier is a tool in Windows to make text and graphics large enough to see for people with low vision. This was initially shipped in Windows 98, and was updated significantly in Windows 7 with the ability to magnify the full screen. This change received positive feedback. However, there were still issues with Magnifier, as it sometimes conflicted with settings for High Contrast colors.
  • Speech recognition initially shipped in Windows Vista to aid people with mobility impairments to navigate and use their PC. User feedback on this feature has been really positive, telling us that the accuracy in speech recognition is good, it transcribes your voice to text quickly, and it is able to handle some uncommon words.
  • On-screen keyboard has been available to those with mobility impairments since Windows XP.

While these Windows ATs cover a range of impairments, Windows depends on the rich ecosystem of AT vendors to cover the broad diversity of disabilities, and fully supports innovation in the ecosystem. This does not change with this new release of Windows. While we have focused on improving the ATs that we provide as Windows components and are providing support for new scenarios like the Metro style UI, we are also continuing to provide a rich platform and ecosystem where AT vendors can thrive.

Accessibility improvements in Windows 8

With each new release, we collate and respond to user feedback. It is clear that users want richer AT offerings to be included with Windows 8. In this release, we invested in the following areas to support this feedback:

  • We redesigned Narrator to improve its performance so that it quickly reads out what you have selected.
  • We added more languages and voices to Narrator to support additional countries and preferences.
  • We updated components and features within Windows to leverage UI Automation that allows them to be read by Narrator.
  • We updated UI Automation (UIA) with more text patterns and document content so that Narrator can use it to read the outputs from applications.

We focused the above improvements specifically to address two key scenarios:

  1. Installing, setting up, and configuring your PC: Using an existing Windows 7 PC, turn on Narrator by opening Ease of Access and selecting Narrator. Then go to the webpage that hosts the Windows 8 download and install point (download Windows 8 Developer Preview here), and walk through the setup with Narrator speaking to you. There are still a few bugs in the process that we are working on. But this now provides you with the ability to install using Narrator.

    Narrator has some new configuration options in Windows 8. You can select a voice, change the speed at which it speaks, create customizable commands, and specify some other aspects of Narrator’s behavior.

    Tap twice with 3 fingers to review the full set of touch gestures supported by Narrator. Drag a single finger around the screen to hear the item under your finger. Or, on a keyboard, press Windows + Alt + F1 to review the full set of Narrator commands. General. Change how Narrator starts and other standard settings. Navigation. Change how you interact with the system with Narrator. Voice. Change the speed, pitch, or volume of the current voice or choose a new voice. Commands. Create customizable keyboard commands.
    Narrator main screen to configure settings

    Right out-of-the-box with a new Windows 8 tablet, you will be able to press the Windows logo key and Volume Up to launch Narrator and walk through the setup of your machine. Whether you’re blind, have low vision, or are fully sighted, you’ll be able to start experiencing a Windows 8 tablet from the moment you get it.

  2. Web browsing: Previously Narrator didn’t say much on webpages, and it was slow. But with the updates in Internet Explorer to leverage text patterns built into the UI Automation platform, and with additional performance updates, Narrator keeps up with you as you explore text on a webpage. Narrator provides you with the ability to continuously read a page (Use the Windows logo key + Alt + \ to invoke the reading) and then responds quickly to commands such as Ctrl, which will instantly stop Narrator from speaking. This allows you to interact with a control like a hyperlink (Windows logo key +Alt + Enter tells Narrator to select the hyperlink, and Windows logo key + Alt + Space navigates to the linked page).

In addition to addressing user feedback, a significant amount of work went into making sure that Metro style apps could also be accessible.

Evolving the accessibility platform for developers

Making Windows accessible while features are being built is challenging, and doing this while introducing a whole new development platform is even more difficult. However, we wanted users with disabilities to enjoy Metro style experiences right away (compare this to the Win32 platform, which took many years and multiple releases to become accessible).

As a start, we updated our accessibility foundation with support for industry standards. By supporting standards from the Web Accessibility Initiative, Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA), HTML5, and XAML, it is easier for developers to code accessibility into their applications and for the ATs using UI Automation to consume the information that makes accessibility scenarios work on Windows 8.

This is in contrast to previous releases, where AT vendors used different “creative” ways of getting information from the system, in order to manipulate it and present it to their users. While a variety of approaches can provide rich experiences for users, it also creates a problem when non-standard approaches have to change in a new release. This is why we needed to create a strong foundation within the platform that leverages the existing coding standards (to which developers should adhere), and that can also be consistent from release to release. AT developers who use the platform can then reliably get accessibility information and don’t have to do any special tricks or coding.

Users, with 2-headed arrow to Assistive Technologies (screen reader, magnifier, etc.); with 2-headed arrow to Accessibility API (UI Automation) on the Platform; this in turn has two sets of arrows: one to Metro style apps, and one to desktop applications.Diagram of developer, platform, and AT required to provide information to the user

With a consistent platform, developers of Metro style features within Windows can now leverage the standards and platform to ensure their components are accessible. While the features are designed, developed, and tested, we continually track the progress made towards accessibility. When we released the build for the Windows 8 Developer Preview, the team had been working on accessibility. However, we still had bugs that impacted High Contrast, keyboard navigation, and programmatic data for the ATs to consume. We are by no means done, and we continue to drive the accessibility requirements across the team to ensure we meet our goals. In each public release of Windows 8, you will see improvements being made in this area.

The Metro style UI is a new experience for Windows, and gives us an opportunity to present accessibility settings in a new way. This opportunity allowed us to simplify and optimize the key settings that people with disabilities depend on to manage their experience.

For example, we have a new way to toggle settings for high contrast, which is easier to discover and simpler to apply. We also made it easier to adjust the size of UI elements to be bigger, and take care of the DPI scaling settings for you, so you don’t have to manage it manually. We think simplifying these settings will help a large set of users.

Developers creating and selling accessible apps

With Metro style apps, developers have an incredible opportunity to improve the accessibility ecosystem by creating and selling apps that meet a baseline of accessibility.

Fortunately, developers don’t need to learn new technologies to make their apps accessible. We rely on existing standards to reduce the learning curve for building accessible apps. HTML apps rely on the public HTML5 standard, which includes ARIA (a markup schema designed for declaring accessibility information). Likewise with XAML apps, we use the well-known markup schema used by similar platforms like Silverlight and Windows Presentation Framework (WPF). Additionally, the dev platform and tools shipped for Windows 8 support making an accessible app through every step of the development process:

  • Creating: When creating a project using one of the project templates from Visual Studio Express, the code is accessibility-ready. This means that you can immediately use it with a screen reader (Narrator), it is fully usable with a keyboard, it works well in High Contrast mode, and it is visually accessible for text contrast and color. This gives the developer a great starting point towards building an accessible app.
  • Coding: During coding of an app, there is additional support offered by the platform and tools:
    • Use Visual Studio Express IntelliSense to type accessibility attributes quickly and declare accessibility information in the markup.
    • Accessibility support is built into the Windows 8 controls. In most cases, all you need to do is define a good accessible name.
    • Use the Dev Center guidelines and samples to learn best practices and copy/paste accessible code.

At this point you are probably thinking: how can these efforts possibly work for interactive games or HTML5 Canvas based apps? You’re right; there are still classes of apps in which implementing accessibility will be more challenging than just leveraging the tools and templates. To help address these cases, we will continue to work with the developer community, post custom solutions, and expand accessibility guidelines with more examples.

  • Testing: When your app is ready for testing, use the Windows SDK accessibility testing tools to validate the markup. The Dev Center documentation also offers guidelines about testing a Metro style app for accessibility.
  • Selling: Once the app is complete, if it meets the baseline accessibility scenarios, you can declare it as accessible during the Windows Store publishing process by selecting the Accessibility check box. This will allow users looking for accessible apps to easily find them in the Store.

When developers build an application for Windows 8, they should follow this process and ensure their apps do the following to reach the accessibility community:

  • Support the standards. Ensure people with low vision or those who are fully blind can use a screen reader such as Narrator to accomplish the main scenarios offered by the app. The screen readers will leverage UIA and the standards discussed above to get information from the apps.
  • Make keyboard shortcuts. Ensure people with mobility impairments or users of screen readers that prefer keyboard navigation can use a keyboard to interact with the app and its UI elements. This includes navigating with the Tab and arrow keys; activations with Spacebar and Enter keys; and the use of shortcuts (access keys and accelerators).
  • Support high contrast and “make it bigger.” Ensure people with moderate visual impairments can distinguish the UI and text with sufficient text contrast ratios, and a good high contrast mode; and respect layout settings when the “Make everything on your screen bigger” mode is active.

For more information, check out this //build presentation on creating accessible Metro style apps, and get started creating your own app.

Discovering accessible Windows 8 apps

Users will be able to set an accessibility filter in the Windows Store that will allow them to discover the apps that have been declared accessible by the developer. Additionally, users will be able to provide comments and ratings to help each other find the apps that are most accessible, and to help the developer understand how well they did in making their apps accessible

Adapting accessibility features for new form factors

One of the most exciting changes in Windows 8 is the introduction of touch-only devices into the Windows family. And, as with all form factors that Windows supports, we want these new touch-only devices to be accessible. As a result, we spent a considerable amount of time planning what it would take to make our Windows ATs useful on touch-only devices, mainly through the adaptation of the Magnifier and Narrator features.

Magnify your screen and navigate using touch

Magnifier can be used in different ways, but one of the most popular ways to use it is with keyboard shortcuts (Windows logo key + and Windows logo key -). However, on a touch-only device, you don’t have the keyboard available to input shortcuts, so we had to figure out how to make Magnifier work well in this scenario. We wanted to create a touch-based solution that was simple, fast, and unobtrusive. If you’ve used Magnifier before, you may have experimented with different modes in Windows 7. We chose to focus on full-screen mode for touch because of the data we gathered through the Customer Experience Improvement Program, which showed full-screen mode was the most commonly used. It’s also the best mode to leverage touch gestures because it spans the whole screen.

One of the great benefits of using touch is that you can directly interact with everything on your screen. There’s no need for separate devices like a mouse and keyboard – just touch exactly what you want. The downside we’ve heard from users who rely on magnification is that it can be hard to see and touch simultaneously because your hand is on the screen and it blocks you from seeing what’s behind it. But the entire goal of Magnifier is to help users see the screen – not to hinder. Therefore, one of our design principles for touch-enabled devices was to make sure that you can control Magnifier entirely from the edges of the screen.

When you start Magnifier on a touch-enabled device (in the Ease of Access panel, set Magnifier to start when you press the Windows logo key + Volume up), you will immediately notice a border that appears around the edges of the screen. We know you will need to access all areas of the screen, so we made it easy to move the Magnifier around the screen using these borders. Simply drag your finger along the border to move Magnifier in that direction. When the border disappears, you are at the edge of the screen.

Two images: On the left is a close-up view of Start screen with borders along all 4 edges, a plus symbol in the top left and right corners, and a minus symbol in the bottom left and right corners. A blue circle representing a finger being dragged appears on bottom edge. Second image shows a different part of the same Start screen, with the same controls illustrating the scroll.

Drag your finger along the border to move around the screen. Borders disappear when you reach the edge of the screen.

The plus (+) and minus (-) buttons in the corners allow you to zoom in or out. We also built in support for multi-touch zoom using these same borders. Moving two fingers closer together or farther apart on the border allows you to quickly change the zoom level.

When you are zoomed in, sometimes it’s confusing to know where you are on the screen. To remedy this, Magnifier has a preview feature that shows you exactly where you are in the context of the entire screen. Activate this by tapping with a thumb or finger on opposite borders at the same time. The preview will zoom out to show you exactly what part of the screen you’re on, then it will zoom back in to your current location.

Start screen with small rectangle highlighted to show the area of the screen where Magnifier is currently focused

Tap on two opposing borders at the same time. Full screen preview highlights where you are on the screen.

You can even drag the highlighted region while it’s zoomed out to move the Magnifier around the screen.

Most importantly with Magnifier, you don’t need to change the way you interact with your device to use it with touch. Once it’s turned on, it will work with all of your apps. For users with low vision who have trouble seeing their devices, Magnifier makes it easy to see the screen and touch it, too.

Explore and learn the UI with Narrator

In Windows 8, Narrator has been redesigned to be substantially faster and support many new features. To support Narrator on touch-only devices we’ve implemented a standard way to launch Narrator, by holding down the Windows logo key and pressing the Volume Up button. Once Narrator is running, you can use Narrator’s built-in touch commands to explore the screen and control your device.

If you’re blind, then the challenge with touch is that there’s no way to find something on the screen without activating it. On a Windows 8 device, Narrator addresses this challenge by allowing you to drag a single finger around the screen. Narrator will read what is under your finger but won’t activate it. Users with vision will notice that the Narrator cursor will follow your finger as well. We refer to this as “exploring.” A good way to understand this is to imagine there is a sheet of glass on top of your screen – Narrator will allow you explore what is underneath by touching the glass but without touching the screen directly. Once you’ve found the item you’re looking for by exploring with a single finger, you can activate it by tapping anywhere with a second finger.

Download this video to view it in your favorite media player:
High quality MP4 | Lower quality MP4

These are just two examples of ATs that are shipping with Windows 8 and that are now optimized for touch-only devices. There are many other improvements across all the Windows 8 ATs, but we will save that to discuss at a later time.

Onboarding assistive technology vendors

There are many scenarios and a wide range of impairments to cover, and so we’ve engaged and partnered with AT vendors to ensure we are creating the best and most comprehensive experiences for the disability community. The assistive technologies that ship in Windows 8 will work across both the desktop and Metro style UI experiences, to provide seamless access to the PC. People who need advanced AT features may need or want to purchase solutions from specialty Assistive Technology vendors (AT vendors) to meet their specific needs.

AT vendors create sophisticated ATs that can provide richer experiences to the disability community. For example, they may provide in-depth support for specific applications and for legacy applications. The ATs shipped in Windows may not work well with apps that do not support industry standards or platform technologies, including for example, legacy applications that do not implement UIA.

In Windows 8, we invested heavily in building the foundation for the new Metro style UI and adopting the industry standards that will benefit application developers, ATs, and the disability community.

By providing a standardized way of getting the information, ATs can work with the standards that app developers are used to, but more importantly, AT vendors can rely on these standards to be supported through multiple Windows releases, to ensure their ATs don’t break with each release. Since the //Build conference, we have partnered with leading AT vendors to help them get started with Windows 8. This has included support for previously used mirror drivers and UIA support.

We continue to sync up with the AT vendors to ensure that their questions are addressed, and we are working toward the common goal of an accessible Windows 8.

Windows 8 has been an incredible opportunity for us to improve our accessibility support. Not only have we evolved the platform, we have introduced new opportunities for developers to broaden their application’s reach into the disability community. We have also focused a lot of attention on the ATs that are included with Windows 8, not only improving performance and language support, but also enabling new form factors including touch-only devices. We continue to be very committed to a rich and innovative third-party ecosystem, and with more standardized and consistent interfaces, we hope to help the ecosystem continue to innovate on Windows.

If you are a user with accessibility needs, we think you will like what we have done. If you are a developer, build an accessible app and reach a larger spectrum of users! If you are an AT vendor, come work with us and refresh your applications using our platform. This is an exciting and compelling release that will change how people of all abilities interact with PCs.

There is still work to be done in Windows to meet all the accessibility needs, but we would like to encourage people to try out the Metro style experiences with our free, updated Windows 8 ATs.

— Jennifer Norberg, Lead PM, Human Interaction Platform team


  1. WHO: Disability and health: Fact sheet Number 352
  2. US Census: Profile America Facts for Features
  3. European AT Report: Analysing and federating the European Assistive Technology ICT industry, March 2009 (PDF)
  4. Lifekludger: The Touch Barrier – Accessibility and usability issues around touch technologies
  5. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition
Comments (75)

  1. Tyler says:

    @Steven Sinofsky

    Is this really the new logo or is this fake? PLEASE RESPOND…


    Sorry for being off topic….

  2. Elvin says:


    Will Windows 8 have voice- navigation ( siri Like ) but not on a server

    I have an accent and the windows 7 voice-navigation dont work well on me (sometimes)

  3. domenicoav says:

    WOW WOA !!!! GO GO 29/02

  4. Windows 8 is shaping up to be the best Windows OS to date.

  5. ReMark says:

    Good! But I hope that your attention is not only on Metro ui.

    I just write some general suggestions that could be done in few days of your work, but that ADD great value (imho) to the "classic" Windows:

    – users want choice, so options to customize style and behaviors are very appreciated;

    – an INTERNAL TOOL to edit voices of the file context menu (right-click on a file) to add/del/edit "Send To" menu and other voices like "Winzip > add …" in a easy way (wizard to add voices for a specific action)   [for users that have no experience using the registry and don't want to navigate in all the */shell/ voices]

    – an option in every window in the screen to put a window in the foreground (in front of all the windows when the window has no focus)

    – icons on the Metro UI, possibility to select the size (for old 32×32 icons maybe just enlarge [there are algoritms to build a correct enlarged image without a pixelized result])

    – Zoom tool: cool thing on W7, but a bit slow launching it…  Scroll wheel for adjust the zoom could be appreciated

    – Recording screen/ screen capture tool: I'm talking about recording screen, yeah there is Expression, but is a bit *confusing*, a simple tool like Snipping tool for record in .wmv or other compression could be VERY appreciated

    – Clipboard tool: it's a clipboard manager that traces clipboard datas (user can enable/disable this tool)

    – Multidesktop (with possibility to put a virtual desktop in other monitor) (oh, wow, with a 60kb software…. technet.microsoft.com/…/cc817881)

    – A complete SYSTEM INFO/DEVICE MANAGER window (where is my ram specs? sensors? s.m.a.r.t. tags?) I want to see these details out of the box (like mac os since … 2003?) without third parts softwares

  6. WndProc says:

    I would love to have Windows read my emails out loud. I receive emails in several languages and use gmail and hotmail (web based email), so that will require windows to recognize the language and select the right voice. Is something like that included?

  7. @Steven Sinofsky

    How about Xbox or Siri like voice recognition system. Voice recognition is not only for who disabled but also for regular users. We not only need to navigate throughout Windows but also to have it assist us to call, send message, search, compare, translate, inform, entertain us. Be more innovative Windows Team. Xbox team got it already. Expect to see some revolutionary steps here.

  8. Harris says:

    I know the magnifaction tool is build large and bold for vision disbalitites however in term of design and usability, it's that possible for UI team and Accesibility team to cooporare in order to make these tools look more elegant.

  9. I once turned on high contrast in the dev preview, and it's been messed up ever since. No matter what switch is toggled and machine rebooted, I still end up wit dark text boxes or invisible text, or black chrome in explorer, or green/purple start screen tiles, etc

    Why can't I turn it off cleanly?

  10. I think with the Metro UI and the improvements that you made with the narrotor people with disabilities will really benefit from it. 🙂

  11. deiruch says:

    How does the magnifier look when it's used with a traditional mouse & keyboard?

    I always liked it and often wanted to use it in presentations and demos, but was unable to do so, because:

    1. The UI was always there (magnifying glass), without the possibility to hide it and control it only with shortcuts

    2. Cannot easily press Win+[+] on my notebook, because there's no numpad.

    In the end I had to use Mark Russinovich's excellent ZoomIt utility. But it was nice if the built in functionality would allow me to zoom in and out properly during presentations…

  12. I have some beef with speech recognition.

    You were doing SO well. Way back in Pocket PC 2003, you had Microsoft Voice Command and it could play whatever music from my library I uttered, as well as read my calendar and more. Microsoft bought TellMe and speech has not improved in any significant way for years and years.

    At the time of Vista, Rob Chambers and others showed off a project called Speech Macros. It let you automate your own commands for voice. It *never got rolled into Windows, Windows basically ignored it, and I don't even know what those speech guys are working on these days

    TellMe on WP7.5 has the worst time trying to figure out what I'm saying. How is recognition so horrible when the old Voice Command seemed so accurate, no matter what accent the user had? Apps on WP7 that use 3rd party speech recognition understand me flawlessly. While they can tell I said "old", TellMe thinks I said "road". And then Siri shows up all late and makes TellMe look silly.

    These advancements give me no hope to plug a mic into Windows 8 and try to use speech constantly, as I did back in Vista. It would seem Microsoft is not really trying to make any real improvements in Speech. Please tell me (no pun) that I'm wrong

  13. Quick question:

    Why do people put "@Steven Sinofsky" at the start of their comments? Just comment!

    It's incredibly annoying

  14. alvatrus says:

    @Tyler (off topic.)

    The new logo is a fake. There are several clues hidden in the image that not even a designer student would make.

    The most obvious one is that the inner lines are not drawn in perspective, which is confusing to the brain. Also, the lines of the logo also lead out of the image, which is not what you want when designing a logo.

    You have to give the Microsoft designers more credit than that.

  15. As a blind computer user this looks quite promising and I intend on installing the consumer preview when it is released. Some Linux distributions and Mac OS X allow you to do a fresh operating system install using speech. Will Windows 8 offer the ability to do a clean OS install without vision?

  16. @craig.smikle

    Comments containing "@Steven Sinofsky" are addressed specifically to Steven Sinofsky. Comments that do not contain "@Steven Sinofsky" are, in my view, just comments that someone has decided to post that are not intended for anyone in particular to read.

  17. AH says:

    Please update the Accessibility options screen in the Control Panel and make it easier to disable ALL accessibility shortcuts.  In Windows 7, there are so many screens, pop-ups, tabs and scrolling that you must do to try to un-check or disable all the various shortcuts.  The current UI in Windows 7 is actually pretty bad and requires you to go sometimes 3 levels deep multiple times to find all the options to turn off the shortcuts.

    Without doing so, playing full screen games have a tendency to activate one of the shortcuts and bump you out of the game.

  18. jader3rd says:

    In Windows 7 the speech recognition works, but assumes that all sounds it hears are directed towards it. The setup even talks about how it's supposed to be used with a microphone headset, or a microphone where only the person using the computer is talking.

    I started using it when my baby was born, and I'd have both of my hands tied up with the baby. At first it was great, but then the baby started to make grunting sounds and every little sound go interpreted as "Home". It made browsing impossible given that I couldn't get through an article without IE navigating back to my home page. If there was someway to tell the OS "that wasn't a command, ignore it, and undo the last command" that would be great.

  19. Hello. I post some comments to suggest ideas for the interface Metro:

    – make so that we can see, since the interface Metro, the opened applications (in this one and in the interface Aero) and conversely;

    – make so that there is, on the tiles of the Metro's applications opened (and Desk also, but most already are there), buttons "Close", "Restore Down", "Restore Up" and the others (as "Precedent", "Following", "to Update") according to the applications.

    By wishing you to meet the success with Windows 8, which deserves it.


  20. Steve Oz says:

    Enabling ease of accessibility to the "safely remove hardware and eject media" would be a welcome improvement as 7/Vista/XP require a third party utility (such as 'unlocker') to do so.

  21. dennis says:

    awesome.. I was just trying to get Firefox on Windows 7 last week to read me the blog post on a webpage with Narrator and very disappointed that a product with screen reader support was difficult to try to get it read a web page with Narrator.

  22. VI User says:

    As someone who is visually impaired, – I find it incredible that something as basic as changing the background color in windows explorer is still impossible without a third-party application such as Window Blinds. Why is this hard-coded to blazing white?

    One of the biggest issues for some visually impaired people is to do with contrast differentiation, specifically black text on a blazing white background. It's both physically painful and difficult to read. This is the 21st Century. We should not have to dive back to the Windows Classic theme in order to be able to change a window background and use the operating system.

    Would you be kind enough to confirm if this limitation is still present in Windows 8? It's deeply saddening that you've taken one of the best features out of previous windows versions, and one that affects a number of people with visual impairments. I'd love to have a response on this because time and again it's been ignored.

  23. funny guy? says:

    what no one wants to post about how much they hate the metro interface?  Isn't that how these comments usually get started? 🙂

  24. ShaneM says:

    Ok, this is a little off topic, but please consider the following situation.

    I am on a work trip with my Trusty WOA tablet.  The office tells me they have updated some sales documents that I need, and for convenience they have put the large file in a zip on their website.  I use the Metro IE to hit the link to download my sizable file.  It is going to take quite some time to download, so I dismiss the download bar to keep using IE.  How do I now know how my download is going?

    In Desktop IE, I can use Ctrl J or the menu to see the ongoing download, but not in Metro!

    This example is simply to highlight two things:

    1. The Dev preview is missing some fundamental features, which may not be obvious until it is used in anger

    2. Discoverability, Discoverability, Discoverability!  It is a punishable offence for a modern O/S to overlook any important features from a discoverability perspective.  All important usage should be obvious to even a cephalopod!

    Windows 8 is a bold and ambitious project and I support the sheer gall required to break the paradigm and try something new, but attention to detail is paramount and potentially fatal is not handled properly.

  25. Max says:

    Return taskbar in metro UI… Without taskbar very bad working on my notebook.

    Sorry for my English

  26. Harald Derer says:

    Why are you banning German technology journalists from the upcoming Windows 8 Beta presentation at the MWC Barcelona? Are you afraid?

  27. Brett says:

    Microsoft doesn't get nearly enough credit as it deserves for the efforts it makes towards accessibility.  Certain other companies pay lip-service at best to the idea.

  28. why are they afriad of German technology journalists.strange.

  29. vantsuyoshi says:

    it will be nice if those features is not as accessibility

    not all people happy being told as disability

  30. Kevin Prince says:

    Just tried the two built-in high contrast schemes and they aren't high contrast – Purple scheme (#1) or Blue (scheme #2) over black is actually impossible to read even if sighted.

  31. Kevin Prince says:

    My keyboard doesn't have a volume key – what is the alternative to turn narrator on please?

  32. @Kevin Prince — The post indicates that this will be for a WIndows 8 tablet (a requirement for a logo on a tablet is to have the volume key and Windows button).  You can use Window key + U to bring up the ease of access center.

  33. @Steven Sinofsky

    In some pictures on the post and demo video, I saw the magnification tool (4 sides bars) has lower resolution as zooming in closer which is not nice. One thing I want to see improvement when magnify (zoom in) is to avoid pixel break on natively rendered elements like text, button, tile, scrollbar…Pictures, movies, icons are fine since it's impossible to improve their resolutions.

  34. James says:

    I wonder if Microsoft will finally fix the bug where the cursor loses the shadow effect once you play a full screen game. This annoying bug was there since the cursor shadow feature appeared.

  35. WindowsNextLover says:

    You know these day it's all about metro and how come Microsoft make people change the view about UI while they still keep some elements the same heavy look of the past. I suggest to redraw or refresh with more Metro icon set for Windows desktop UI (windows explorer, notepad, windows media player,…) Also, how about give us brand new set of cursors that replaces the Aero styled one (spinning circle) introduced back in Vista?

  36. Alan says:

    @Steve Oz

    To eject an external drive like a USB flash drive go to Windows Explorer, select the drive and from the menu choose Eject or simply press "j". Simple. No need to get a 3rd party utility. Many so called "computer experts" don't know about it though.

  37. Alan says:

    @Steve Oz

    And by the way, you never need to safely remove a USB flash drive as by default Windows writes within 2 seconds all data that has to be written to it. So, if you don't pull it out while the computer is copying something to it and you wait maximum 2 seconds, you should be safe. However, so called "computer experts" don't know about this either.

  38. chrisbro says:

    I get headaches from bright screens.  Even with the brightness turned way down, a white screen gives me eyestrain after 20-30 minutes.  Today I compensate for this by changing the Window background color using the Advanced Appearance Settings dialog, setting it to a nice soft gray.  That dialog has been cut from Win8.  I logged a bug on this, but I'm worried it will just get kicked around then punted, like happens to any nontrivial accessibility bug.  At the very least, could we get a registry option to set it back?

    Of course, I'm sure it won't help with any of the new Metro apps, but I figure I can probably just stay away from those.  (But if you eliminate the option now, adding it back again in a future release is really hard because in the meantime no one will run/test that configuration)

  39. Hani says:

    Not completely relevant here, but it would be great if you talked more about font and type design for Windows 8. Typography is so important in Metro, and every time I try to design Arabic user interfaces using Segoe UI, it doesn't feel like Metro at all.

    Are Arabic and other international glyphs going to be optimized or extended for Segoe font family any more? Microsoft has always been a pioneer at extending international support, and has designed one of the greatest Arabic fonts ever (Arabic Typesetting, that is more suitable for a typography-centric interfaces too). But recently, we have seen nothing.

  40. I'm loving the under the hood improvements (Crosses fingers for transactional database based Regisrty)  and I'm loviong the refined Aero, but Metro and the start menu are absolute ***.

  41. JGodo says:

    @funny guy?

    I do.

    -to hate metro, I mean-

  42. Fraggy says:

    Steven, what is the build number of the build in the screenshots? Seems very old…

  43. I would love to see the Speech Recognition program in windows 8 getting advanced and expect more voice controls and  voice commands. And Increasing the accuracy of typing in notepad or word what we speak.

  44. xpclient says:

    Great job with Narrator (for reading web pages finally) and fabulous job with the Metro style Narrator (especially "exploring" and Magnifier!! But I feel Windows has a long way to go in accessibility. I have several issues with the accessibility tools working smoothly, or as designed. It may seem like a rant but my intention is to only give solid feedback to improve the system:

    1.  The Metro OSK is buggy. Sometimes it covers up the Metro IE's address bar, other times, the IE bar covers the keyboard. Just search for 'onscreen keyboard site:social.msdn.microsoft.com' and see the number of issues people are having with the keyboard.

    2.  When click sound is turned on in desktop Onscreen keyboard, modifier keys such as Alt, Ctrl, Shift or Win key are no longer sticky when pressing with the mouse. When clicking for example Alt, the key is let go off immediately after the click (2 click sounds are heard) instead of being held down until another key is pressed. Or I can't press Win+R to open Run dialog as the moment I press Win key, it is "unpressed" before I can click R with the mouse. This buggy behavior does not happen if "Use click sound" option is turned off in OSK options.

    3.  Balloon notification sound is broken since Vista. Sounds do not play for balloon notifications at all!

    4.  In Mouse Control Panel, 'Hide pointer while typing' option is broken since Windows XP. Either fix it or remove it. The pointer hides in all cases irrespective of whether its checked or unchecked. In Start Menu Run dialog or any app like WordPad, start typing and notice that the Mouse pointer disappears. This option last worked in Windows Me.

    5.  Fast User Switching is no longer "fast" since Vista. When I try to switch users, WinLogon needs to switch to another desktop switch which is slow because it involves video driver mode change. During this video mode reset, some display drivers for certain graphics chips from the three major manufacturers hang at the black screen while doing the switch so the only way to recover is hard reset. I have stopped using Fast User Switching because of this on Vista/7.

    6.  Since forever, we have been requesting a built-in way in Windows to disable touchpad's/trackpad's "tap to click" functionality. Some touchpads are over sensitive and without installing buggy or bloated touchpad drivers, we cannot adjust their sensitivity or disable tapping which results in many accidental clicks.

    7.  Mouse Keys is a really useful feature of Windows but on keyboards without dedicated numeric keypad, it is very difficult to use. Can't it be improved to allow using it some modifier key + regular arrow keys?

    8.  The desktop version of On Screen keyboard in Windows 8 looks terrible. In Windows 7, it was polished and glassy. Only the Metro OSK should be flat, the desktop OSK should be exactly like the one in Windows 7. You have ruined the desktop OSK's look.

    9.  SAPI voices constantly change in Windows and backward compatibility of SAPI client voices also breaks. Now we have three decent voices, David, Hazel, Zira and voices in other languages, please retain them in future versions. Why I can't use Microsoft Mary or Mike with newer versions of Windows?

    10. Narrator looks to be a *major* improvement in Windows 8 but still not an adequate full-function screen reader. Other software like JAWS are so ridiculously overpriced that they are out of reach of most individuals. Plus, they crash with every new release of Windows, JAWS is once again broken now because XPDM mirror driver model was removed in Windows 8, so we have to continually spend on expensive screen readers. The open source one, NVDA is decent but still lacks many features. How can you remove mirror driver support without adding WDDM mirror driver support?

    11. Why did the Classic/Advanced Appearance settings window go away in Windows 8? If you are serious about accessibility, return this level of customization back!

    12. Just look at the features (http://www.apple.com/…/voiceover) and languages OS X Lion's VoiceOver supports – voices that speak 22 languages plus more downloadable voices!

    13. Metro apps/Start Screen now has an on-screen display for volume. How about an Aero on screen display bar for the desktop?

    14. Support for complete greyscale display option like Mac OS X has for color blind or global monaural audio effect enhancement for those hard of hearing of one ear.

    15. Minimal to absent braille display support in general compared to Mac OS X.

    16. Changing and muting volume using the HID keyboard controls used to work in Windows 7 at the logon screen. It no longer works at logon screen in Windows 8. Will this be fixed in the beta? Neither does Winkey+HID Volume Up key on my laptop launch Narrator.

    17. For Aero Snap, allow it to temporarily override it using a modifier key.

    18. Why does the High Contrast themes have to be ugly as hell as if from the Windows 1.0 days? High contrast can also be done with a more beautiful theme minus the transparency and better design.. The current High Contrast themes are really atrocious. Even Metro (which some people call ugly) looks better than the desktop High contrast themes.

    19. The Metro/Touch keyboard and handwriting lacks basic keys like Up and Down, Tab etc.

    20. Please please please disable auto sort in Windows Explorer. For the vision impaired and even for general users, files jumping all over when renamed, pasted, extracted or downloaded the moment they appear or change in a folder is a horrible UX.

    21. Agree with VI User, Windows had the ability to change the folder background up to Vista by choosing an image file which could be of a darker contrast (The Explorer ListView control supported that). The replacement in Windows 7, ItemsView doesn't support it.

    22. And I agree with craig.smikle. The innovation on the speech recognition front has been below expectations post Vista.

  45. Paul says:

    I could not find a way of logging in to my developer preview installation on my Oracle VM VirtualBox without flicking up the screen. This is obviously not accessible, and is also counter-intuitive. I am hoping it's just me somehow.

  46. Jetta48 says:

    As someone with poor eyesight, I have a vested interest here.  🙂

    1. What is happening to ClearType?

    2. Can we have better/bolder typefaces for all system UI than is in Windows 7.

    3. In IE10, can we have the ability to set different accessibility options for different websites/domains. I would find this a huge benefit.

       (sorry if this last point should be in an IE blog)


  47. Valkyrie-MT says:

    Please make sure there is some sort of touchscreen support for unlocking with Bitlocker on Win8 in general and on WOA (windows on ARM).  

  48. Brian says:

    Narrator has been improved but the improvements are not enough. I, as a blind person, would still need to use a 3rd-party screen reader. However, most of them cost over $1000. The only good alternative is NVDA which is free and open source by NVAccess. However, NVAccess is a non-for-profit and they have no money. Please help by giving a generous donation so that they will be able to make their screen reader compatible with Windows 8, just like you did when Windows 7 was coming out. Please, please, please. A donation for a company of the size of Microsoft is nothing. And it will benefit all the blind users like myself who want to use Windows 8.

  49. Windows 8 is a product we design for an incredibly broad spectrum of people around the world. But not for the actually Windows Users or the actually base of Windows users until allowing an option for disable Metro UI at all.

    Windows 8 is a product we design for an incredibly broad spectrum of people around the world. The broad spectrum of users of iPhone and Apple Mac computers but not Windows users.

    Microsoft has buried its Windows Mobile giving that market share to Android because Whindows Phone is a product for iPhone users, not Windows Mobile users, and that market sector goes to Android.

    Microsoft has buried now, with Windows 8, the best UI in the computer desktop market, the Windows 95 UI with the advantages in Windows 98 and Windows XP. With Windows 7 the UI experience got worse and a more slow user experience whout the ability to expand "All Programs", the customizable icons in Windows Explorer toolbar, the level up folder icon, pour searchs, less customizations, and more.

    Microsoft has buried its best desktop UI giving orphan to that market share because Whindows 8 is a product for iPhone users and Apple Mac computers users but not Windows users. Where the actually Windows market sector goes to?

    I remember when Microsoft build backwards compatibility beetween versions of products. In Windows 95 Micro Microsoft included in his product the "Program Manager". The program manager is the program or app does manage all the applications user interface in Windows 3.1. Microsoft include it for users who want to work in Windows 95 like the old style Windows 3.1. For backward compatibility.

    Now Microsoft imposes our working style. With new Office 2007 style there are no backward compatibility or posibility to configure the old Menus style who most users are habituate for more than 15 years. The same for the UI in Windows Vista or Windows 7. Also Microsoft removes the Classic Start Windows in Windows 7. And now removes the Windows start button at all.

    Is really Microsoft hearing users or its only hear herself?

    Is Microsoft build a Windows that users wants of that Microsoft wants?

    Is Windows 8 a new impose of Microsoft or is really a built with users in mine?

    I only see that Microsoft has the worst market share with Windows Phone because users not like the MetroUI. Users prefer iPhone or Android user interface. I think the same will happen with Windows 8.

    Why Microsoft does not respond to any comments from the vast number of users who do not like the Metro UI and only solicited an option to disable it?

  50. BryronG says:

    the statisctics look scary (15% is a huge number). And thanks for the details and the added features.we think that AI (Artificial technology) can really help a lot too, it will avoid users memorising comands, and how-to precedures. and we hope you incorporate more feartures using Tellme and AI. we invision calling the OS (customizable name-joe), like "joe call/open/excecute/rune windows media player" when windows media player opens then you talk to it directly without having to call 'joe the OS' and say "windows media player play earth song by michael jakson". do somthing OS wide you have to call "joe the OS". it works like the user is the master and apps can listen, do and talk back and the OS a boss like figure. this can work for both able users and disable users.

    we also think that UI mix is confusing we are sugestion the following (http://www.flickr.com/…/6869475637), the metro task bar hides can be triggered to appear, it should funtion like the applist in windows phone, this will make switching between apps easy using your left  thumb. distinguishing between desktops enviroments makes it easy for a normal user to understand how to nevigative the OS as whole and allows MSFT to add as many more windowsor envroments in future when new tachnology arrives.

  51. DvO says:

    This video shows tools for people who are visual impaired, so why did the video have subtitles again…? 🙂

  52. @Brian @xpclient   Thanks for your feedback on Narrator.  

    You may know that Microsoft has worked with third-party assistive technology (AT) vendors for more than 25 years to deliver market-leading solutions for Windows. We believe the optimal model is a combination of solid built-in AT solutions and a diverse ecosystem of more advanced AT offerings. This ensures customer choice, encourages competition and leads to greater innovation.

    Take a look at the improvements in the upcoming Consumer Preview and let us know how that changes your perspective.

  53. tic says:

    Wich build is the one from the pictures? Just curiosity

  54. @tic I think it is the Consumer preview because of the Music and Video tiles. The Dev Preview does not haves those (Which is beyond me)

  55. Will B. says:

    @Steven, please change the Internet option menu. It looks old. Icons in the Navigation/Tools menu (Alt+X) and redesigning the internet options menu (perhaps a new tab window with ajaxified page like happen in Chrome) would be much appreciated. Also, can we have SpiceIE framework for developing add-ons for IE10? Please promote IE addons!

  56. @SuperCoco1

    I agree with you about metro and all. I do IT and I can tell you right now—this will raise hell in the office.

    "Hey, Where's my start menu…..how do I do this"

    It all ways seems you guys are changing something—The start menu, the control panel, etc. seams to change with every release and it gets on my nerves. Stop it already!!!!

  57. Stefano says:

    In the Start menu in two of the pictures above is that a tile to turn off computer with one click (or one touch, of course, lol)? It's between the weather and the stock tiles. It would be great. (Trying out the Developer preview in a virtual machine it would be better to know all the Metro keyboard shortcuts, for instance the shortcut for the Charms etc…) Maybe in a virtual machine it's more difficult because not all clicks or mouse moves work where/as they should, anyway I can't install it on a PC. It would take me too much time to bring Windows 7 back 😉

    I hope that in the Consumer Preview the "turn PC off" icon will be there, in order to make it easier and faster to use even on virtual machines 😀

  58. JF says:

    Couldn't some of these features be more easily accessible? For example, to activate Narrator, while locating the start button (which hopefully isn't capacitive) might be straightforward, the volume button may be difficult to identify… And its location changes when the tablet is rotated!

    A nice solution would be to activate it using voice commands by holding the start button, just as on Windows Phone. So: *hold Start button*, voice recognition activates, user says "Narrator", Narrator is activated

  59. "Fast and fluid", but not faster than previous version? Without making change to how the cores are used, making Win32 faster, etc. Microsoft will continue to loose market shared in server, and with OSX faster than Windows, even I feel OSX is a better OS, and my first certificate in windows was in 3.1! Windows 7 was fluid compared with Vista, but any benchmark show it was not any faster. I hope Windows 8 will be faster than Windows 7 and not only "feel faster".

  60. M. C. says:

    In any desktop os screenzoom is a very valuable feature, not just for the visually impaired. In Windows 7 when you hit the Win key + "+" to zoom in, there is a lag for the first time, because the magnifier application has to open. In Windows 8 can you remove this lag, and have magnifier as part of the core windows services…. similar to OS X where you can zoom in at any time. Also, can you hide the magnifier control box by default, or just put all of the options on the box in the control panel? This is a bit of an annoyance for those that use magnifier on a regular basis. Usually when you want to zoom in, you are doing it to show someone else your screen or look at something closely. A dialog box just gets in the way of what you are trying to see.

  61. @M. C.  — OS X and Windows are roughly the same in the performance you mention.  Windows has the access keys always enabled by default (so Window Key + =, Window Key + -).  The slight delay is loading magnfiy.  If you wish to use it all the time you can always drag it to the startup group in the Start Menu.  I just don't think that is necessarily necessary, especially in teh usage case you are describing.  Also the controls do disappear shortly after using it.

    The Mac requires two keystrokes to enable magnify.  The first one launches the program which has a slight delay.  Through the equivalent of the Access control panel you can turn on the Magnifier to be on all the time (equivalent of loading into memory in teh startup group).  On OS X the magnifier requires 3 keys Option-Apple-=.

  62. ReMark says:

    I was wrong. Sorry about that.

    I retry the magnifier of W7 on a more new system and now I could say that the zoom is perfect (the zoom is gradual like I want), only missing the WIN+scrollwheel shortcut.

    The delay loading magnify is not so rilevant (a sec).

    I don't know about mac zooming but I think there are more options in the windows one (panel zooming, box zooming, % zooming, etc…)

  63. Ipedis says:

    How a blind user can even know where to touch? I think  it will be very difficult to find information on screen… Does Narrator can set focus on elements and read them by simply  using a swipe gesture ?

    And how about text typing on tablets? I hope it will be easier than the ipad…

    Anyway, it's still a good thing for windows 8.

  64. Yacine Oualid says:

    Something I don't like in windows 8 is how everything has changed except the windows desktop UI ,we used to see a new visual improvements on each new version of windows ,but honestly ,the windows vista and windows 7 desktop GUI are by far more "eye-friendly"

    There are many glitches on the windows frames,and the ribbon is a kinda annoying ,I did a little mockup  of how the windows frames would look with an "MS office" touch yacine29.deviantart.com/…/Office-2010-for-win8-mockup-260108819

    I am looking forward to see a better use of the windows customization potential.

  65. Yousaf says:

    How would a person with fat fingers or parkinsons diseases be able to use this?



  66. Alex Kven says:

    Will this be able to zoom in on vectorized content that an app might have in high quality? When the regular magnifier did this to wpf, it looked great (back in the days). That would be the ULTIMATE in visibility accessibility.

  67. MatiasMa says:

    Could you please publish the list of available languages in Windows 8 (narrator & voice recognition)?

  68. M. C. says:

    @Steven Sinofsky — Thank you for taking the time to reply to my comment! You are correct that on OS X the magnifier by default is disabled from startup (not loading it into the memory upon startup), this is new starting in OS X Lion (I forgot about that because before Lion it was enabled by default). But even when it is disabled, it still loads as part of the core os services upon startup (I know this because when you zoom in, the Desktop Manager Service takes a quick 10% jump in cpu usage).

    Despite your comment: " I just don't think that is necessarily necessary, especially in the usage case you are describing."  I know many developers and Windows users (including myself!) who use this feature to look at objects closely, show others their screen from a far away distance, hide other parts of their screen when trying to show someone else something, or to emphasize something you are showing to another person.

    While you might say, this usage is for really advanced users or a small number of users, I would like to see the option to load the magnifier in the background of the core os services upon startup. Another option I would like to see is to have the control's hidden. Both of these options don't have to be on by default, but having these options available would be beneficial to many users.

  69. deiruch says:

    @M. C. I think you're right. I use Magnifier too for that very purpose (as described in an earlier comment). I too would like to ability to hide the Magnifier UI completely (including the transparent hourglass).

  70. Mark Siegel says:

    I'd like to see some additional improvements to the on-screen keyboard, including:

    – the ability to create custom keyboard layouts

    – the ability to add words to the word prediction dictionary

    – the ability for word prediction to adapt to the user's writing style

    – the ability to create macros (typing a few letters to write a phrase or sentence)

    It would be great if users like me didn't have to rely on a third-party developer for a full-featured OSK. Thanks for your consideration.

  71. Mac says:

    Microsoft is seriously playing with the nerves of Windows users. From pushing metro start menu to removing the whole start menu, and also destroying the whole floating window and overlapping windows concept and now this freaky logo.

    So why we had those 20 years of evolution in the design of windows and its logo? To ruin all the results of that long evolution and build a crap from start?

    WinMO needed a new start but Win7 was the most popular and most successful OS ever 🙁 🙁 🙁

  72. @Steven Sinofsky

    Would it be possible to enable anti aliasing when using the magnifier?

    The zoom feature on OS X  gives a much better image quality.

    At the risk of going off topic – Windows control panel could be much clearer.

    OS X System preferences is a lot more straightforward.

    Is it just me or Windows search is much faster gathering results in Windows 8?

  73. xpclient says:

    Because Microsoft has been ignoring many users' requests to disable automatic sorting and auto arrange in Explorer for many years now, I plead them to consider it again from an accessibility point of view: Hotfix please for Windows Vista, Windows 7 and make this behavior configurable/optional in Windows 8: social.msdn.microsoft.com/…/27314d0a-9c70-4b79-93e7-23fe60e7e374 My repeated attempts to get a Design Change Request approved also were turned down without any explanation. Tracking files with your eyes is hard if they keep getting automatically sorted continually.

  74. @KurtMMyers1

    That is just an invalid search page that looks wrong because it uses the https:// protocol. This link produces the exact same page: