The following was posted by AI Squared's Doug Geoffray on the Window-Eyes Talk Email discussion list about the VFO acquisition of AI Squared. We've included the complete message below.
Hello everyone, I wanted to chime in here and give my personal thoughts to the bombshell released today regarding VFO (the parent company of Freedom Scientific and Optelec) acquiring Ai Squared. And by bombshell, I don't mean a bad thing, I just mean it is shocking and unexpected news. I know this may seem scary to many people. I know that we have a great number of extremely loyal customers who may be feeling betrayed. There are lots of legit concerns and questions that I'm sure come to everyone's minds. But honestly, nobody knows the answers at this point. We are just starting the discussions internally of how best to take all our new resources, talent, products, etc. and meld them together to give the best customer experience. For the next 6 months or so, it will be business as usual. After the 6 months, who knows at this point but I can guarantee the customers will benefit from the results. Nobody will be abandoned or taken advantage of, etc. I'm very impressed with John Blake (CEO of VFO). I truly believe John is in this for the customer. Personally, I'm extremely excited with the possibilities. Think about it, we now have all the best minds in this industry under one roof. Instead of us duplicating resources, we can combine them and inovate. Although Freedom has been our number one competitor since Dan and I started GW Micro in 1990, I've always had great respect for their engineers. Okay, I've had questions about their corporate leadership, a certain lawsuit comes to mind (smile), but that was a completely different leadership team. That was a different owner and a different CEO. Vector has an outstanding reputation. John Blake has shown great leadership and concern for the customer. Under this new leadership and available resources, I'm ready to take that and do whatever it takes to have the best possible solutions for our customers, for every low vision and blind person out there. People may be concerned about lack of competition causing innovation and quality to suffer. Nothing can be further from the truth. There is still plenty of competition out there, including free options but we have the determination and drive, starting at the corporate level all they way down to provide the best quality products, hands down. Yes, this will take some time to prove but I'm hoping that everyone out there will give us that opportunity. Again, I'm putting everything I have into this venture and I wouldn't do that if I didn't believe in it. Regards, DougCategory: News
In other words, I have to say this so I can keep my job until I retire soon.
steve920 Wednesday, 15-Jun-2016 1:10 PM ET:
I'm not surprised, with the advent of free screen readers and the movement toward tablets, the market to support three commercial screen readers is tight. On the other hand, if this were a major industry, it would never pass Justice Department or European Union scrutiny due to the fact that it creates an anti-trust violation as a near-monopoly.
darknexus Wednesday, 15-Jun-2016 3:22 PM ET:
Nothing near about it. Name me another commercial screen reader which is full featured and is sold within the USA? Over in Europe they have Supernova and Cobra, but you're hard-pressed to get those here. Sounds like it's past the point of near monopoly and become full-fledged. That said, NVDA beats them all anyway, so that's probably where everyone using Windows is going to be in a few years.
cw Wednesday, 15-Jun-2016 5:19 PM ET:
Trust me, I still have questions. I remember when the two major satellite radio services combined here in the USA. If I remember, those were XM and Sirius. They said that it would turn out better if my memory hasn't felled me. You know though, I am now using pandora, tunein radio, overcast, and other such apps on my IOS device because they give me more of what I want music, shows, and ETC. Say that to say this, in a few years, this might not matter seeing how things could go, but it does look a little bit worrying. It may be nothing though,. We shall see though.
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J.J. Meddaugh is an experienced technology writer and computer enthusiast. He is a graduate of Western Michigan University with a major in telecommunications management and a minor in business. When not writing for Blind Bargains, he enjoys travel, playing the keyboard, and meeting new people.