Re: fear mongering? Re: [nvda] New Blog Post: Will VFO Acquire NV Access?

erik burggraaf <erik@...>

Just to follow up, I read the blog post, and it's not fearmongering. I wish I had been available for nvda con. I had surgery at the time and missed the festivities.

Based on the transcript provided in the blog post, my dream of NVDA becoming a core windows component is just that and can never happen.

I still don't understand, and the article fails to explain, why screen reader monopolies are bad. Apple has two very successful ones. Android doesn't preclude any one from developing a screen reader, but google's product is good enough now that it's put numerous screen access and accessibility suite tools out of business, and the biggest losers there unfortunately are the early adopters who largely paid and now have no viable product.

How would we feel if NVDA became the recognized gold standard and a combination of NVDA and built in tools for windows forced VFO out of the AT software market? I suspect most of us would feel better about a market controlled by NVAccess than we would about one controlled by VFO, but if we don't want an AT monopoly, who will compete with NVDA when governments stop funding AT for good? Will we still love the more established NVDA when the next upstart comes along, or will the new thing fade into obscurity leaving NVDA with what amounts to an unchallenged monopoly?

I haven't really observed negative effects of screen reader monopolies on other platforms, and personally I'd welcome a monopoly driven by NVDA in the windows space. I don't really see that happening either, but NVDA continues to meet the needs of consumers and it's easy to see the passion users and contributers have for it.



On May 29, 2017 1:41:55 PM "erik burggraaf" <erik@...> wrote:

Pardon folks,

Could it be that I have an overdeveloped sense of delete button? Have I
missed important announcements from nvda developers, blog posts, or
interviews intimating that ownership changes are in the offing at NV
Access? Have I missed similar from any company intimating they wish to buy
up interest in NV Access? Have there been development changes in the nvda
sycle that suggest new directions in control of the product? Please direct
me to those if they exist.

I haven't read Bavia. Does he have a roll in development of NVDA or
directing interest there-in? I suspect not. Well, Chris Hofsteader has
some things on the ball and others not. Despite what he has to say about
VFO's adjenda he clearly has one of his own and despite his experience in
the industry, his facts aren't always right. I ask you where Bavia is
coming from and whether his experience suggests he may have knowledge or
perspective beyond that of an end user?

Why are we talking about an acquisition of NVDA as if it's a thing that
could happen? No evidence have I observed to justify any such.

I was a proud window-eyes user for 10 years, and signs of it's impending
discontinuance had been available for any to see for years before the
acquisitions. Development slowed, then stopped. Spin off software from
new developers emerged to keep the company generating reviniew. Old hands
left not to be replaced. Dan and Doug are retired, presumably happily, and
never was there ever a thought in the hofsteader post that insiders at gw
micro were ready to move on at the time of the acquisitions. As far as I
know, nothing like this is looming on the horizon of NV access. Correct me
if I'm wrong.

Personally, I think that the end of windows as we know it will have a much
bigger impact on NVDA than the VFO group. Those people will milk access
for all they can get while the gettin is still somewhat good, but does any
one here believe the money in the AT market now is on par with what it was
5 and 10 years ago? In November of 2016, dollar volume of mobile device
sales globally exceeded dollar volume of personal computer sales for the
first time, while PC sales themselves have been steadily droping since 2011
and have not been bouncing back. Both major opperating systems in the pc
space have gone from completely paid to free or alternatively priced in an
attempt to revive interest in the personal computer, but corporations and
consumers are slowly pulling the bandaids off of their eyes. Accessibility
features of mobile devices are equal to or better than those built into
personal computers. Mobile devices can be had cheaper outright than pc's,
and better communication regulations are forcing carriers to share back
more of their prophets with users in the form of more user friendly
contracts, and more service delivery for less money. Canada isn't really
onboard unfortunately, but the rest of the western world seems to be doing
more to provide value for money over all. The two biggest mobile players,
IOS and android, have professional quality accessibility suites built in
and those tools are getting better.

To me, it makes more sense for microsoft to buy NVDA and make it a core
operating system feature in place of narrator than for VFO to acquire it
just to put it out of business. At least MS with full control over
development and system intergration would have the ability to make money
from the product, even if the income stream were nowhere near enough to pay
for development.

The real questions are, what will the next itteration of windows in a year
or two look like? and, How much longer will I want a personal computer?
Myself, I haven't owned a computer in nine months. The only thing I missed
about a pc was the ability to store large files, and I got a little box for
$150 to hook up to a drive tower last month. I need a bigger, better
phone, but the only time I'm prevented from doing anything I want on my
phone is when there's a badly designed website or inaccessible app. The
fact that I can litterally work anywhere, and have access to modern
computing will mean that I will never want a computer for day to day use
again, and you'll be there yourself in the next 1-3 years. How windows and
NVDA fit in modern computing remains to be seen as far as I'm concerned. I
don't see it disappearing over night, but I don't see it lasting forever
either. Yes, I still have an old dos machine, and yes, I do regret not
taking the old apple IIe I was offered back in 2005, but that doesn't mean
I use information the way I did in the 80's and 90's.

I'm a proud NVDA contributer and I plan to use nothing else on any windows
systems I may need in future, but I don't think NVDA will last forever, nor
do I think it necessarily should last forever, nor do I believe the people
working on NVDA will pull the rug out from under us with no warning, nor do
I believe speculation without information contributes meaningfully to the
community. Fire away if you think I'm wrong, but seriously, there's no
reason for panick or uncertainty that I can see.



On May 29, 2017 12:44:36 PM "Rosemarie Chavarria" <knitqueen2007@...>


I don't think V F O will acquire NV access. We need to keep NVDA open
source as it is now because so many people can't afford to pay for Jaws
plus the upgrades. I hope and pray that NVDA will stay as it is now.


-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of Bhavya shah
Sent: Sunday, May 28, 2017 9:03 PM
Subject: [nvda] New Blog Post: Will VFO Acquire NV Access?

Dear all,
‘Will VFO Acquire NVDA?’ has been a highly debated topic in the blindness
community in recent times. Find out the answer to this inquiry with all the
cogent reasoning, justification and arguments you may desire as I explore
all the possibilities and probabilities in my new blog post.
‘Now, let me restate the question of the hour in a simplified form – will
the VFO-Group, owners of the Freedom Scientific made JAWS screen reader,
after phasing out its subsidiary AI Squared’s Window Eyes screen reader,
venture out (caught the pun?) to buy out NV Access and its free and open
source NVDA screen reader, and thereby establish an absolute monopoly as
far as Windows screen readers go?’
Post URL:
Blog Address:

Feel free to drop your comments, follow the blog or share the post.

Best Regards
Bhavya Shah

Blogger at Hiking Across Horizons:

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