January 22, 2018

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Windows 10 will be getting a raft of improvements on the accessibility front when the Fall Creators Update arrives later this year, including enhanced features for Narrator.

The Fall Creators Update is going to be coming with a laundry list of helpful features for people with disabilities, and they were all listed quite plainly for us. That said, Turner still does point out that you can use Windows 10 S to write code that will run on the internet or on IoT devices, but the rest is out.

Narrator app will include ability to send commands from keyboard, touch, Braille display and help users get feedback about the commands.

Overall, the idea is to get Narrator working seamlessly and consistently with a single set of commands over both apps and web pages, making it easier to use all-round. "There are some apps that are not allowed to run on Windows 10 S, including all command-line apps, shells and Consoles".

Further, the app can type and read using Braille translations. Users can also perform braille input for application shortcuts and modifier keys, which enables users to employ their braille display to perform common tasks such as pressing ALT + TAB to switch between active applications or pressing CTRL + B to bold text. Oh, and the tool will (optionally) automatically make up its own image descriptions using AI, if no such descriptions have been provided. The service includes the ability to extract text from images using optical character recognition. And, it will include new Settings and the ability to zoom in an out using a mouse wheel.

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Tools to assist in reading and writing are also being introduced.

The Windows team is committed to delivering built-in assistive technology that exceeds our users' needs and expectations.

Why this matters: Many Windows users look askance Windows 10 S and its built-in constraints, and this restriction on certain Windows Stores apps may deepen their skepticism. We believe Windows 10 S is great for many customers. Fortunately, for now, there are plenty of computers sold with Home or Pro.

As Rich Turner explains on the Microsoft blog, there are more requirements these Windows Store apps need to meet before they'll run on Windows 10 S.

If you are a developer, admin, or IT Pro and you need more capabilities on a Windows 10 S based system like a Surface Laptop then you can always upgrade to full Windows 10 Pro for $50 however, until the end of 2017 that upgrade is being offered for free.

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