The upcoming release of SharePoint 2016 will be a milestone for Microsoft — and the Redmond, Wa.-based tech giant is also using the occasion to spruce up its other products.
It announced a number of upgrades to its auditing, storage and compliance features in Office 365 earlier this week. Last night it reaffirmed its commitment to accessibility generally, and specifically to accessibility in Windows 10 and Office 365.
Jenny Lay-Flurrie, Chief Accessibility Officer at Microsoft, said the company wants to make its products more accessible to people with disabilities.
Microsoft said it is committed to make its plans for its products transparent in respect of accessibility, will prioritize inclusive and wants to empower all customers to use its technology.
“It’s clear that we need to deliver an experience that enables not just access, but also productivity. In 2016, we’ve prioritized several features and projects across the span of our portfolio that aim to do just that,” Lay-Flurrie wrote in a blog post.
So what’s in store? For Office 365, Microsoft is extending the Accessibility Checker to Office for Mac as well as improving the alt text in Office Online. The Accessible Checker is already available for Office in PCs.
Later this year, it will also be making it easier to use Office 365 with screen read and keyboards on any device as well as adding support for VoiceOver for Office for Mac. It will also be adding full accessibility support for all our Windows 10 store apps. Further, it is enhancing the high contrast mode, which will make it easier to read commands as well as new reading and writing tools for people with dyslexia.
While Windows 10 was built with accessibility fundamentals, Microsoft will be enhancing the most commonly used features like the Start menu, the lock screen, as well as access to Cortana, Store, Music and Videos.
By the end of 2016 the new Edge browser will have new browsing and reading experiences — not just for those using built-in assistive technologies like Narrator and Magnifier, but also for people who use other commercial assistive technology. Windows 10 Mail will also be upgraded to include screen-reader support.