The New Microsoft Edge Preview Has Great Accessibility Support

At the end of last Year, Microsoft announced that future versions of the Edge web browser will be based on Chromium, the same framework that’s  powered Google Chrome from the beginning.  This means that the new Edge will immediately benefit from all of Google’s work to ensure that Chrome embraces accessibility standards, and the work that we’ve done in collaboration with them to ensure that browsing with our products is extremely accurate and fast.

 

Although Microsoft hasn’t yet announced exactly when Edge based on Chromium will become the default in Windows 10, they’ve publicly indicated that the transition will be happening incrementally over the next year or so. During that time we’ll continue to support the existing version of Edge in our products, but will only be fixing serious regressions while we focus on  Edge of the future.

 

We held off on this blog post until we were able to try the first Edge Preview. Out of the box, it works extremely well with the April updates of JAWS, ZoomText, and Fusion. We’re not suggesting that all of you rush out and download this early access version, but now that we’ve seen it, we’re quite bullish on the accessibility of Edge moving forward. Microsoft’s contributions to the Chromium open source project will definitely benefit the web community at large.

4 Comments

  1. Anne Mauro

    Sounds good I’ll check out Microsoft edge when they get the bugs out of it.

  2. Fernando Gregoire

    Is this new Chromium-based Edge an UWP app, or a traditional desktop program like Internet Explorer or Firefox?

    Thanks in advance!

  3. Deborah Armstrong

    I agree Chrome is the most accessible browser and am pleased Microsoft
    switched to its rendering engine. I am concerned about Microsoft’s move towards promoting progressive web apps — apps which can run on any modern browser and aren’t tied to a walled garden like the universal windows platform or the Apple app store. This is a win for developers — they can create an app once and it runs everywhere — but it’s not a win for accessibility unless screen readers once and for all drop the paradigm of the static web page. And even if they do, will the Chrome engine have accessibility support the screen reader can utilize to voice relevant data to the app user who is blind? So far the speech feedback I get in web-based applications, even Office 365 and Google sheets/Docs, which have been specially scripted is not as reliable as the speech feedback for Win32 based software.

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