Still More Jawing about Freedom Scientific
Howdy Comrades!Much of the chatter in the blind community concerning Wafra’s purchase of Freedom Scientific demonstrates an incredible level of racism, ethnic stereotyping and knee-jerk nationalism. So far, no real evidence has surfaced tending to support the initial hysteria. Questions remain about what Wafra is up to and why they paid Summit Partners for a company that has only one halfway decent product to sell, JAWS.I am frankly puzzled by this entire affair. From back channel contacts of persons employed by FS and discussions with a Kuwatte investor, Wafra’s purchase of Freedom Scientific seems somewhat out of character. First of all, Wafra has a dislike of companies involved in litigation. So, why support a trademark suit against Saratech over the right to use the word “Freedom” for one of their products. Moreover, Wafra seems more interested in the growing number of persons who have some limited vision, a sector that is likely to have a good deal of disposable income. Will this result in a corporate culture that eventually abandons the world’s leading screen reader? Why then would Freedom Scientific drop Magic, something that does seem to be in the cards? There simply doesn’t seem to be enough profit potential in the current FS product line to warrant Wafra’s investment. I guess only time will tell. It makes me wonder, however, if I should purchase Window Eyes and blow off good old JAWS.Regards,Chairman MalPower to the Peeps!
After Word: Recently I heard that Microsoft has announced that they will no longer support their XP operating system after an as yet unspecified date. If this is true, does it mean that we will be forced to adopt Vista? From what I’ve read in blind Confidential, JAWS does not work well in Vista. In fact, Chris Hofstader states that he must use several screen readers to do his work, work that is admittedly far more advanced than the kinds of things I need to do with the computer. Nevertheless, what employer or rehab agency is willing to purchase two or more expensive screen readers in order to employ a blind worker? Moreover, how many blind consumers possess the talent, patience and time to devote to learning multiple interfaces on top of learning blindness skills such as Braille and O & M? Comrades, the digital divide seems to be multiplying, at least for those of us who are blind. CM