Ten months down, two to go. The year is flying by but the goal we set out to accomplish at the beginning of the year was met today – namely making sure we release JAWS, ZoomText, and Fusion 2019 at the same time. JAWS 2019 posted this past Tuesday; ZoomText 2019 and Fusion 2019 post today. Why does this matter?
It matters for a variety of reasons, the main one is ensuring that for our customers that support users of our technology, such as assessors, trainers, and educational institutions, we release the software that is tested to work together all at once. Having a lag of even one or two months between releases, especially in a product like Fusion, which includes both JAWS and ZoomText, becomes a support and training nightmare. What version do you have? Which versions work together? I have JAWS 2019 – can I use it with ZoomText 2018? I am using Fusion 2018, why doesn’t it launch JAWS 2019? And so on. You get the picture.
It also matters because we live in a dynamic world of software and systems that change about as often as you blink… okay, maybe not that often, but change they do. Our software engineering and system test teams are hard at work to make sure the latest versions of Windows 10, Microsoft Office, Google Docs, Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and more are supported. The 2019 releases represent the culmination of this effort.
In addition to some new productivity features, we focused on improving the overall feel and stability of the products – a challenge because the environment under us is constantly changing. But this is our mission, to provide you, the users, technology you can depend on.
Another goal we set was to provide a lower cost alternative to our software for home users. We begin this effort in the United States but will continue from there. It’s what we call our Home Annual licenses, which are fully managed by you, the user, via our Software Licensing Portal. After purchasing a license on the Freedom Scientific web store, you are directed to the Portal, where you can download and activate your license, view how many activation keys you have used, and best yet – reset your keys to allow you to move your license between computers you use.
Two years ago, ZoomText was not on a reliable and regular release cadence. Since the merger of Freedom Scientific and Ai Squared, we focused on releasing ZoomText and Fusion regularly, and releasing maintenance updates every 4 to 6 weeks. But today’s coincident release of all three products is our capstone. And now that the precedent has been set, our challenge and commitment is to repeat again in a year. So, hats off (not that I wear a hat…) to all the women and men at Freedom Scientific that worked long days and many hours to get to this point. If you haven’t tried the 2019 versions of our software, download and try it out. We are confident you will appreciate their hard work.