Microsoft shows how the Narrator feature helps make Microsoft Edge more accessible

Windows 10 has a number of new features and improvements compared to previous versions. A number of the improvements make using the OS, and its Microsoft Edge web browser, more accessible to a larger audience. Microsoft has offered more information on these accessibility improvements, including the Narrator voice feature when used with Edge.

Microsoft previously used the Microsoft Active Accessibility (MSAA) API to help make text and interfaces more accessible in older versions of Windows. Now Windows 10 and Microsoft Edge uses the newer UI Automation (UIA) API for these kinds of tasks. Microsoft said:

"UIA was designed to expose more information about the user interface and structured documents, improve performance, and be portable across platforms. Because UIA replaces a variety of potentially unreliable and non-interoperable techniques with a single API, it reduces software complexity, allows developers to express novel UI concepts more easily, and improves stability and user experience consistency between web and native apps, across all types of assistive technology."

Microsoft has posted a video demo of how Narrator can work in Microsoft Edge with the UIA API. Using the Bing search site, Narrator can "speak" so that the user can hear the top search choices when "cat" is typed in the search bar. Once the user picks the specific search string, they can use the Headings mode in Narrator so that it only says the tops headings displayed in the Bing search page, rather than every word on that page. It can also switch to Paragraphs or Lines mode to have Narrator read what's below the headings.

Microsoft says that even more accessibility improvements are in the works for Windows 10 and Microsoft Edge. That includes better Narrator support for features like "the address bar, settings, favorites, history, and downloads."

Source: Microsoft

14 Comments
  • TPL when?! cheesus...
  • One of the great things that I like about MS Edge is the fact it isn't crammed to the hilt with ad-ons like its predecessor MS-IE11. Which kind of throws the spanner into the works so to speak. Because of the complex way in which MS Edge works you cannot... or moreover, Symantec cannot throw Norton Toolbar into the mix. But then, that opens the door to potential threats from malicious websites (which is normally Warez or Poon websites that you should not be looking at in the first place). But then again 80% use of the internet is either downloading illegal software or downloading PORN. Which is probably near the mark. So it's no more Google, Yahoo, Ask and other pain in the backside Toolbars that all n00bies install for some reason because they think it makes they browser look intelligent where in fact it slows down your browser and browsing. The one thing that I do HATE with a passion is corrective text... which is there same as on a Windows Phone which I hate. Okay it is handy but it doesn't understand English not American English, (sorry :)) proper English grammar. So you have to make sure that you proof read your post before you post or answer a topic. And there is, or I haven't found a way to turn off the corrective typing which for crap spellers this is a godsend. Another thing that I do not like about this browser is the fact that it all of the sudden just closes for no reason. That really does my head in especially when you are in the middle of typing. So irritating. Another issue is keyboard lag when typing. It doesn't happen on all websites. One in particular is the Microsoft Community forum which has unbelievable keyboard lag. In any other browser it is fine. But on the whole it is a good solid browser which I know totally contradicts to what I have just said above. I don't know what rocket they put up this browsers backside but. It is fast and browsing is a pleasure. What I do like it when you are downloading a ZIP or RAR file (totally legit by the way) If I download a file or document which I zip up on my server for example. If I download anything from Chrome or Firefox I always get a CRC error which is FKing annoying to say the least. If I download the same file or document via MS-E I will call it as it sounds better. It downloads faster and opens like a rocket. However, in other browsers it's slow and always guaranteed to get a CRC error which I personally hate.
  • Very looooooooooooong
    K. Byeee
  • Random crashing is absolutely intolerable for me. I hope they fix it soon. Every time I'm doing a transaction on Edge, I'm scared to death knowing it might crash at any time.
  • That second comment tho :)
  • Now if only Cortana was also Narrator...
  • I know right!
  • I'd like Edge to not lock up or crash on a regular basis. :(  I have 4 PCs and on Phone with Edge and they all have quirks and issues. I find myself going back to Chrome or IE more frequently. 
  • A pity the video didn't go on a bit. I notice that the synthetic voice has trouble reading out words in other languages. It would have been interesting to hear if the microsoft male voice could pronounce the latin words on the wikipedia page properly. Seondly I could image with cortana around the corner many poor sighted people would expect a more natural voice like Cortana to be able to read the page. I'm sure the software code enhancements is a big step forward now with windows 10 accessibility, but I can imagine that natural sounding speeches would also have been high on the wish list.It now sounds the same as windows 8 and 7.
  • Narrator is irritating to use...I just want to read on-screen text for articles on my demand, not read everything on screen as I navigate. Solution for my Surface Pro 2; use TextAloud.
  • I wish there is a microphone button to dictate in windows 10 instead of writing !
  • I want it to read my thoughts so that I don't even have to say anything. I can just lay there.
  • Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, and 10 all have free speech recognition that can be used to dictate speech to text.  Been using if for years with Microsoft Word.
  • What the ....?
    Hey!, I am not asking for too much.
    The feature already exists in Android and iOS!