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Download Instructions for Microsoft Security Essentials

September 30, 2009 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker

Microsoft released its new free anti-malware Security Essentials product to Genuine Windows users Tuesday. The company’s Web developers forgot to make sure that the download process was intuitive for its blind customers. While browsing the Security Essentials Web site, people who rely on screen readers feel or hear a link containing the following text: “A38FFBF2-1122-48B4-AF60-E44F6DC28BD8/mssefullinstall-x86fre-en-us-vista-win7.” Microsoft representatives have been asked about this concern, and a response from the company’s public relations staff is anticipated in the near future.

Until Microsoft corrects the download process, an alternative exists for blind users to gain access to the software. Follow these steps to download Microsoft Security Essentials:

  1. Visit the Microsoft Security Essentials Web site.
  2. Select the “Locales and languages” link.
  3. Press the screen reader keystroke to redraw or refresh the interpretation of the screen’s contents. This command is Insert+Escape for JAWS and System Access, and Insert+Backslash for Window-Eyes. This step is critical in order to view the information that has changed on the dynamic Web page.
  4. Select the country in which you are located from the combo box.
  5. Select the link appropriate for the 32- or 64-bit operating system you are running. The download process begins.
Categories: accessibility, tips

3 opinions on “Download Instructions for Microsoft Security Essentials

  1. That's good to know. Is there any harm in doing the refresh? Since the MSE site is dynamic, I just thought it wise to include the step for all screen reader users. Please let me know if there any issues with leaving that step in for System Access.

  2. Hello Darrell. I switched to MS Security Essentials on Wednesday after not having found an accessible enough solution that was free. I am happy to say that Microsoft did a great job with their program. It not only does what it claims, but it’s also quite accessible with both System Access and Non-Visual Desktop Access. One thing to note, however, is that the direct download link is only picked up by NVDA. At least this was my experience. But other than that, I am quite impressed by MS Security Essentials.

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