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:
- Visit the Microsoft Security Essentials Web site.
- Select the “Locales and languages” link.
- 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.
- Select the country in which you are located from the combo box.
- Select the link appropriate for the 32- or 64-bit operating system you are running. The download process begins.