Windows 8.1 and NVDA #3627

nvaccessAuto opened this Issue Nov 7, 2013 · 1 comment

1 participant


Reported by Daniel Langeron on 2013-11-07 14:32
This is not an incident report but some questions about the evolutions of Windows 8 and their impacts on NVDA.

Some time ago NVDA users could expect to use the Nokia - Lumia smartphones based on Windows 8. Unfortunately, the conclusions of the TT # 2608 (Refer to Note 1) were clear, namely : ” … it will not be possible to run any third party screen readers on Windows 8 RT or Phone.”
Newer versions of smartphones, phablets and tablets operating under Windows continue to be ARM-based. It is expected that they will use Windows Phone 8.1 (Windows Phone Blue) and as such the use of NVDA to navigate these devices will always be impossible.
In the new generation of Microsoft Surface 2 tablets only tablet Surface Pro 2 based on an x86 platform allows the use of NVDA.
Today, in the world of mobile devices, if we except Tablet PC ("two in one" devices), it appears that NVDA can be used very rarely.
Yet there is a new Intel chip family (Refer to Note 2) which would make possible the production of x86 based smartphones, phablets and tablets running “plain” Windows 8.1 instead of ARM-powered devices running Windows 8.1 RT or Phone.
This is the solution adopted by Dell in its recent tablet (competing with Surface Pro 2): The Dell Venue 11 Pro tablet which, like any device based on x86 (PC or Tablet PC), allows to use NVDA.
NVDA users would benefit Microsoft and Nokia adopt these new chips! But one can wonder if a major element of the new strategy of Microsoft is not to move closer to the ARM architecture and the Metro / Modern UI ?

While the maturation of Windows Phone Blue (8.1) continues, many articles are published. A persistent rumor emerges from these articles, it relates to the gradual disappearance of the Desktop (Refer to Note 3, 4, 5)
The question now is what will happen to the Desktop of the devices using an x86-platform ? If the Desktop in this case was also called to be more “discreet” and eventually disappear what would be the consequences for NVDA ?
But perhaps is this fear unfounded ?
Thanks, Daniel.
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Comment 1 by jteh on 2013-11-08 08:28
The development list is a better place for this discussion. This tracker is entirely for issue reports. Nevertheless, since this will no doubt be asked again, here's a fairly short answer.

The reality is that there is too much speculation and not enough definite information to provide any useful answers. That said, even if phones do start running on Intel chips, I suspect they may not run a full desktop experience. Microsoft, following in Apple's footsteps, seem committed to locking down newer platforms as much as possible, which is part of the new Windows Store ecosystem. Also, the desktop environment (and thus most desktop apps) weren't designed for low power environments. If the desktop environment does disappear, NVDA in its current form will not function. Furthermore, unless Microsoft removes some restrictions from the Windows Store app environment, no third party assistive technology can run in that environment. The situation will be the same as it is for Windows RT. Obviously, I really hope I'm wrong. We'll have to wait and see.
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