locked Please read and consider: importance of providing exact (or almost exact) Windows version information will be helpful soon


 

Hi all,

The following applies most to Windows 11 users but I believe it applies to all of us:

If you’ve been keeping an eye on Windows 11 development, you should have heard about an upcoming feature update called Version 22H2, scheduled for public release soon. You should have also heard about a similar news on a feature update for Windows 10 named, appropriately enough, Version 22H2. These feature updates are completely different in nature, update process, and applicability.

Why do I bring up Version 22H2 for both Windows 10 and 11? For some time Microsoft has been using the term “original release” to refer to Windows 11 Version 21H2 (build 22000). If you remember from seven years ago, when Microsoft was working on the first feature update for Windows 10 (Version 1511), the original Windows 10 was labeled as “1507)’, “RTM”, and “initial version”. Back then feature updates were release once or twice a year so the confusion surrounding version information did not last long (or people can say it lasted a bit longer). But with Windows releases coming in an annual cycle, coupled with staggered approach to update availability, Windows version confusion can last longer.

Therefore, I strongly advise you to provide exact (or almost exact) Windows version you have so people using your configuration can help you better. Simply saying “I’m using Windows 11,” while it has worked for the last twelve months or so, will no longer hold true in coming weeks; there are at least three Windows 11 releases (including Insider Preview) at any given moment, and you can see why I’m strongly advising folks to provide version information (more so now as Windows Insiders subscribing to beta channel will get one of two builds). For reverence, whenever you tell me “I am running Windows 11”, I will assume the latest public release (21H2 for now, 22H2 once it is released).

There is another reason for bringing up Version 22H2 for both Windows 10 and 11: they will be using completely different update mechanism:

  • Windows 10 (build 19045): Version 22H2 is an enablement package. Although Windows Insiders don’t know what’s included in the upcoming feature update, all (or almost all) components for the feature update will be part of upcoming cumulative updates for 21H1 and 21H2.
  • Windows 11 (build 22621): it is a completely different version of Windows, not an enablement package. If you’ve upgraded from Windows 10 to 11 on compatible systems, you should remember what it was like, and same will happen with Version 22H2.

 

Among many methods for checking the exact Windows version you are using, the fastest method is About Windows dialog (Start menu, type “winver” without quotes, press Enter, and read the information provided). There are three methods that are faster: two are specific to NVDA (NVDA log and Resource Monitor add-on, respectively), one is looking for a changed menu entry in quick link menu (Windows+X) introduced in Windows 11 Version 22H2.

Speaking of Windows 11 Version 22H2: although you can use old NVDA releases, I advise waiting until NVDA 2022.3 is released before upgrading. This release includes foundations to support some upcoming features (notably console apps support improvements); but it will not be until 2022.4 (under development) that support for Windows 11 Version 22H2 sees much improvement, and I expect most of you to see 22H2 as early as late 2022 or early 2023.

Cheers,

Joseph


 

Speaking in my official role as group moderator, I could not agree more about the need for specificity when seeking assistance on a technical support forum, and not just this one and not just in regard to Windows.  It becomes even more critical when we're in transition periods like now where two "primary" versions of Windows coexist, 10 and 11, along with another "secondary" one, 8.1, which has relatively few users compared to the other two.

It's really easy to create a simple text file that looks something like this:

Windows 10 21H2, Build 19044
NVDA 2022.2.1
Microsoft Office 2016 | Firefox 104.0 | Chrome 104.0.5112.10

where the first two lines are your computing and screen reader environment information, and what follows is what's pertinent to the "question at hand" whether that's about Microsoft Office, or a specific NVDA Add-On, or a web browser (and it's version should be specified - available via Help, About from all of them).  That third line could be a permanent one where the software you are most frequently using, and the respective version numbers for each, are listed.

There are many instances where it is absolutely impossible to give an accurate answer without one or more of these pieces of information.  Having them stored in a small text file from which you can copy and paste them, and update them as needed, makes it easy to present that information every time it's needed.
--

Brian - Windows 10, 64-Bit, Version 21H2, Build 19044  

The difference between a top-flight creative man and the hack is his ability to express powerful meanings indirectly.

         ~ Vance Packard


Yeti
 

Hello Brian and All,

the need for specificity when seeking assistance
On the other hand, people with little technical understanding also seek advice from lists like this one, for whom it is not so easy to collect this information or even to filter it according to its importance.

Other screen readers - such as BAUM's COBRA - therefore had a function to collect this information and make it available on the clipboard.

This could be realized rather easily with an add-on. However, this add-on would certainly not always and everywhere be available where it was needed.

This functionality should therefore be one of the NVDA kernel.

Just my 50 cents

Ad Astra

yeti


 

Hi,

Resource Monitor add-on can do this if told to copy resource usage information to the clipboard, and Windows does let you copy basic info about your system from Settings/System/About.

Helping others with limited technical knowledge: this is why I gave instructions (in the end) about how people can obtain system version information that works with or without screen readers.

Cheers,

Joseph


 

On Fri, Aug 26, 2022 at 02:06 PM, Yeti wrote:
On the other hand, people with little technical understanding also seek advice from lists like this one, for whom it is not so easy to collect this information or even to filter it according to its importance.
-
We're just going to have to agree to disagree here, and on a number of points.

While there is the occasional new member who is a complete neophyte to Windows and computing in general, they are few and far between.  I presume that new members here are seeking information on NVDA, and unless they identify themselves as a neophyte that they have been using Windows for some time.

While I think it's great if a given screen reader (or add-on) might assist in collecting information, I also think it's completely unnecessary in general.  Any user of NVDA (or a screen reader) has almost certainly at some point had to do a winver command to get Windows version information or go to a given piece of software's Help/About option for that.  This is not something that doesn't come up, repeatedly, for virtually any computer user who is a member of any technical support list, group, or forum.

If you don't know how to do this, no one has ever bitten someone's head off for asking, "How do I do that?"  We then instruct.

But there is no reason to believe that the average user on these venues has no idea whatsoever about how to snag a version for something.  And life would be so, so, so much easier for all involved if the "basic stats" of one's computing environment and specific software being used were offered as a standard practice when requesting assistance.  Those who do know how should be doing just that.

I definitely do not believe that it is a core function of any screen reader to snag version information for anything other than itself.  The way you obtain this information with a screen reader is not all that different than how you do it via point and click, you just substitute keyboard shortcuts for the pointing and clicking.  This is a skill that you need to have in general, not just for this purpose.
--

Brian - Windows 10, 64-Bit, Version 21H2, Build 19044  

The difference between a top-flight creative man and the hack is his ability to express powerful meanings indirectly.

         ~ Vance Packard


Sarah k Alawami
 

I disagree. I'm no tech geek, however I have learned to get information needed and when needed, and the non techie can as well. That just sounds like an excuse to me.

-----Original Message-----
From: nvda@nvda.groups.io <nvda@nvda.groups.io> On Behalf Of Yeti
Sent: Friday, August 26, 2022 11:07 AM
To: nvda@nvda.groups.io
Subject: Re: [nvda] Please read and consider: importance of providing exact (or almost exact) Windows version information will be helpful soon

Hello Brian and All,

the need for specificity when seeking assistance
On the other hand, people with little technical understanding also seek advice from lists like this one, for whom it is not so easy to collect this information or even to filter it according to its importance.

Other screen readers - such as BAUM's COBRA - therefore had a function to collect this information and make it available on the clipboard.

This could be realized rather easily with an add-on. However, this add-on would certainly not always and everywhere be available where it was needed.

This functionality should therefore be one of the NVDA kernel.

Just my 50 cents

Ad Astra

yeti


Steve Nutt
 

I agree with this. I think sometimes we are expecting people to know too much about their systems. Some want to just use them, and not know what's under the hood.

So I would agree with a way for every screen reader to collect information for diag purposes with a single keypress.

All the best

Steve

-----Original Message-----
From: nvda@nvda.groups.io <nvda@nvda.groups.io> On Behalf Of Yeti
Sent: 26 August 2022 19:07
To: nvda@nvda.groups.io
Subject: Re: [nvda] Please read and consider: importance of providing exact (or almost exact) Windows version information will be helpful soon

Hello Brian and All,

the need for specificity when seeking assistance
On the other hand, people with little technical understanding also seek advice from lists like this one, for whom it is not so easy to collect this information or even to filter it according to its importance.

Other screen readers - such as BAUM's COBRA - therefore had a function to collect this information and make it available on the clipboard.

This could be realized rather easily with an add-on. However, this add-on would certainly not always and everywhere be available where it was needed.

This functionality should therefore be one of the NVDA kernel.

Just my 50 cents

Ad Astra

yeti


 

On Sat, Aug 27, 2022 at 02:29 PM, Steve Nutt wrote:
I think sometimes we are expecting people to know too much about their systems. Some want to just use them, and not know what's under the hood.
-
Which they can (and should) feel free to do, that is until they are turning to a technical support group for help.

You cannot and should not expect people who wish to assist to divine what your computing environment is and make guesses.  It is so freakin' simple for anyone to get a Windows version, screen reader version, and software version regardless of their visual status.  And if you don't know how, you need to ask and learn.

There is no generic "get me the version" utility that any given screen reader could have since there are just too many different pieces of software out there.  But the general procedure of looking in a given piece of software's help menu, about option, to get it applies far and wide.

The winver command (WinKey then type winver and hit enter) gets that information for Windows and has since Windows time immemorial.

I really don't understand the endless complaints that getting this information is hard, period.  You may not know how to do it, and if you don't, then ask.  But the getting of it is just dirt simple and the how is so similar across the vast majority of programs that once you've done it once . . .
--

Brian - Windows 10, 64-Bit, Version 21H2, Build 19044  

The difference between a top-flight creative man and the hack is his ability to express powerful meanings indirectly.

         ~ Vance Packard


Sarah k Alawami
 

No, this is not necessary. I already stated as to why. I believe that those who want screen readers to do their work promotes laziness IMHO. Learn how to get that info or be left behind is how I look at it. Harsh, however, true. I know Bryan would agree and be much much more gentler than I.

-----Original Message-----
From: nvda@nvda.groups.io <nvda@nvda.groups.io> On Behalf Of Steve Nutt
Sent: Saturday, August 27, 2022 11:30 AM
To: nvda@nvda.groups.io
Subject: Re: [nvda] Please read and consider: importance of providing exact (or almost exact) Windows version information will be helpful soon

I agree with this. I think sometimes we are expecting people to know too much about their systems. Some want to just use them, and not know what's under the hood.

So I would agree with a way for every screen reader to collect information for diag purposes with a single keypress.

All the best

Steve

-----Original Message-----
From: nvda@nvda.groups.io <nvda@nvda.groups.io> On Behalf Of Yeti
Sent: 26 August 2022 19:07
To: nvda@nvda.groups.io
Subject: Re: [nvda] Please read and consider: importance of providing exact (or almost exact) Windows version information will be helpful soon

Hello Brian and All,

the need for specificity when seeking assistance
On the other hand, people with little technical understanding also seek advice from lists like this one, for whom it is not so easy to collect this information or even to filter it according to its importance.

Other screen readers - such as BAUM's COBRA - therefore had a function to collect this information and make it available on the clipboard.

This could be realized rather easily with an add-on. However, this add-on would certainly not always and everywhere be available where it was needed.

This functionality should therefore be one of the NVDA kernel.

Just my 50 cents

Ad Astra

yeti


 

Topic will be locked after this post, as we've gotten "meta" and, if it's not abundantly clear by now, I am not, ever, going to change my position on this, and for good reason.

Sarah,

My philosophy is if it's no more difficult to do it with a screen reader versus with a mouse, then no special measures are necessary and, ideally, should not be attempted.

There are those things that are, on occasion, quite a bit more difficult as a screen reader user than as a sighted user, and then purpose-built tools can at least be justified.

But I make no apology for saying that if someone blind does not feel capable of:

1. Hitting WinKey + R and entering winver, or just hitting WinKey and typing winver to get the Windows Version dialog to appear.
2. Hitting NVDA + N, H, A [NVDA Main Menu, Help, About NVDA] to get the NVDA version.  (Or the equivalent in JAWS, etc.)
3. Bringing up an application menu, going to the Help menu/ribbon, and choosing About for a given program.

Then the problem lies with the user.  These are simply not difficult.  They take mere seconds.  They're basic, basic, basic skills.  You MUST learn them (and if you're sighted you can either do them as documented above, or by point-and-click, but YOU must learn to do them).

There seems to be a persistent iidea on many blind-centric technology groups that blind users should not be expected to have the same basic skill set as a sighted user.  Well, sorry, but no.  And sighted users get exactly the same feedback.

I refuse to hand a man/woman a fish.  They need to learn how to fish and not for my benefit.  What's being asked for is the most simple and basic of skills, and members are happy to teach them when needed.
--

Brian - Windows 10, 64-Bit, Version 21H2, Build 19044  

The difference between a top-flight creative man and the hack is his ability to express powerful meanings indirectly.

         ~ Vance Packard