Update. Since this post was originally written, Microsoft has addressed the issues referred to promptly, and Edge is now responsive in all versions of JAWS supporting Edge.
As we have blogged previously, Freedom Scientific and Microsoft have been collaborating closely to make Microsoft Edge accessible.
If you are on Microsoft’s Windows Insider program, you will have seen some performance issues of late when JAWS 18 and the first 2 public beta versions of JAWS 2018 are used in conjunction with Microsoft Edge. Members of our engineering and testing teams are also a part of the Windows Insider program. It helps us give feedback to Microsoft about any issues introduced to Windows before they go public, and we can discuss with them whether those issues require modifications by us or by Microsoft.
During the test phase of the release that is about to become the Windows Fall Creators Update, we identified an issue with Windows affecting the performance of Edge when used with JAWS. We promptly drew this to Microsoft’s attention. They did their own testing and confirmed our findings that a fix was required from Microsoft.
That fix has been developed and is in the process of being tested, but it won’t make the first build of the Fall Creators Update. We anticipate the fix to be ready for pushing in a patch in the weeks following the initial release of the Fall Creators Update.
The great news is that our engineering team has been able to develop our own work-around for this temporary Windows issue, which will be available starting with JAWS 2018 public beta 3. The work-around will not be available in JAWS 18, however when the official fix comes from Microsoft, JAWS 18 will once again be snappy with Edge.
For now, your options are:
- Install the Fall Creators Update and use Edge in conjunction with JAWS 2018 public beta 3 or later,
- Install the Fall Creators Update mindful that Edge will be slow with earlier versions of JAWS for a short time,
- Hold off installing the Fall Creators Update until we advise that the Microsoft fix is available.
We’ll have further information, including interviews with key people at Microsoft, in FSCast 145.
What about Command Prompt and Power Shell? Even the latest JAWS 2018 beta 3 is not able to read their windows when issuing commands in the Fall Creators update. For reference, NVDA still reads them correctly. By the way, I also reported this using the beta report form.
This is indeed excellent to see VFO and Microsoft working together to improve accessibility. If this continues, then I would hope to see many improvements in future updates of Windows / Jaws, including getting things fixed such as the broken accessibility of Silverlight. Keep up the good work team!
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