Blind Bargains

Blind Bargains Top 10 Stories of 2015: 4. A Perfect 10?

The ballots are in and the votes have been tallied. It's time to count down the top 10 biggest and most influential stories of 2015. This year's panel included Jeff Bishop, Shelly Brisbin, Ricky Enger, Chancey Fleet, J.J. Meddaugh, Jamie Pauls, and Joe Steinkamp.
Each panelist gave us their opinions on the biggest stories in assistive technology and we've compiled their votes to create our annual list. We'll reveal a new story each day on the way to number one and announce the winner on the next Blind Bargains Qast. The 4th biggest story of the year may not impact you just yet, however, its footprint could be felt for years.

There are few true constants in the universe. Some speculate that death, taxes and reinstalling Windows are three things everyone will experience in their lives. But 2015 may prove to make those old I.T. jokes irrelevant, as the trend of slowing PC sales continued into the 2015 holiday season.
No matter how you feel about the current state of Microsoft's latest version of Windows, or the previous ones, the OS is a success with more than 200 million devices running Windows 10 at the time of this writing. The launch of the new OS was huge and it was hard to ignore. Especially if you were running older editions of Windows because that little bug down in your System Tray would simply not let you forget that you could upgrade your PC experience. "Did you know you can update for free?" Yes, but maybe we don't want to do that just now. "Were you aware that this version of Windows is, like, way more secure than the last one?" Yep, but that menu thing you did in Windows 8 sure didn't win many folks over. "And we have this new web browser called Edge..." Okay, let me stop you right there. While Internet Explorer is not the bestest browser out there, for all its ills IE is a bit of a standard and that is where it counts for Assistive Technology users. Windows 10 shipped with no real access to speak of for core apps like Windows Mail and Microsoft Edge. The workaround is to run the old Internet Explorer 11. And that wasn't just the solution at the beginning of Windows 10's launch. No, it is still the case even now, as things like Edge Extension support are only still available to those brave souls in the Windows Insider program.

Also, the word "free" is somewhat subjective when it comes to operating systems and your particular brand of Windows A.T. product. Screen Readers like NVDA and JAWS offered updates for free to go along with that shiny new copy of Windows. Others, like Ai Squared's Zoom Text, provided an upgrade path for Windows 10 compatibility.

Furthermore, like all versions of Windows before 10, the true power of the operating system won't be felt by the masses until they upgrade their hardware with newer specs that were designed to take advantage of the Windows 10 environment. Traditionally those new systems do not even ship until some six months after launch. Therefore many of the amazing benefits of windows 10 won't be felt until you consider a new computer around the time between April 15th and the Graduation season this summer. Ironically, this is usually how most people adopt a new copy of Windows anyway as they consider that Windows comes for free onboard a new computer.

Vague definitions, and old I.T. jokes aside, Windows 10 is popular and it may just end up being the new Windows 7 when it is all said and done. And this is why it took the number 4 spot in our countdown.

Have you taken the plunge and upgraded to 10? let us know the good, the bad and the ugly of how it went by leaving us a comment below or sending in an email to

Category: Articles
Displaying 1 comment.
joshknnd1982 Friday, 15-Jan-2016 10:43 AM ET:

I upgraded to windows10 from windows7 on my hp elitebook 6930p laptop. I also added 4 more gigs of ram and a solid state hard drive using the freeware macrium reflect to clone the old magnetic spinning drive to the new solid state drive. I love windows10 and would never go back to windows7! its excellent!

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Joe Steinkamp is no stranger to the world of technology, having been a user of video magnification and blindness related electronic devices since 1979. Joe has worked in radio, retail management and Vocational Rehabilitation for blind and low vision individuals in Texas. He has been writing about the A.T. Industry for 15 years and podcasting about it for almost a decade.

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