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Announcing improved access to Office

Today I am pleased to announce that Microsoft and GW Micro are partnering to provide people who are blind or have low vision improved access to Microsoft Office. Starting today, customers who have purchased and installed any version of Microsoft Office 2010 or 2013, including both perpetual and subscription clients, are eligible to download a free copy of Window-Eyes, GW Micro’s widely used and highly regarded screen reading software.

At Microsoft we are committed to provide everyone access to our technology. A fundamental consideration during product design, development and testing of Office is the level of accessibility of our applications. The Office team works closely with a variety of groups to improve the accessibility of our software including standards bodies, regulators, advocacy groups and an ecosystem of assistive technology (AT) vendors including the Narrator team in Microsoft. Our goal of this work is to provide our customers with solutions that give them choice, meets a variety of accessibility needs and is delivered at an affordable price.

By partnering with GW Micro we are able to improve access to the Office suite including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Outlook. Whether people want to use Office at home, school or work they now have more flexibility and an improved opportunity to take advantage of our latest software innovations.

To learn more about Window-Eyes, get details on available geographies and languages, as well as the process to qualify for the free software download, visit www.windoweyesforoffice.com.

This is just one more example of Microsoft’s ongoing commitment to provide all of our customers with the technology and tools that help all people be productive in both their work and personal lives. We will continue to find new ways to improve the accessibility in our software working with assistive technology partners like GW Micro, Narrator and others to improve both the technical capabilities as well as easier access to our products.

If you would like more details on our commitment to accessibility, please visit www.microsoft.com/enable.

–Jake Zborowski