Microsoft Offering Free Screen Reading Software For Office

Good news for people with visual impairments: Microsoft is offering a free copy of GW Micro's Window-Eyes screen reading software to anyone who owns Office 2010 and 2013.

The offer applies to Office 365 subscriptions as well as the free desktop client. Anyone can download the app, but if an appropriate version of Office isn't installed, it will only work for 30 minutes. The full paid version of Window-Eyes offers a few extra features and technical support, but all the basic features are in the free version.

Window-Eyes For Office [via Office Blogs]


    Except no-one uses this.

    The two biggies in the screen reader space are JAWS (which costs as much, if not more than a new PC) and the open-source (and Australian developed) NVDA (

    All screen readers have their own quirks, meaning that developers end up spending time trying to make sure that they're product plays nice with each screenreader. AFAIK, no one other than MS would support their product being used for this.

    (Note I worked providing support Internet Banking at an Australian bank, and while I had come across many customers using JAWS, and occasionally NVDA, I have never heard of Window-Eyes in my six years there).

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