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Blind Bargains Top 10 Stories of 2011: 10. Chrome OS and the ChromeVox Screen Reader

J.J. Meddaugh Thursday, 29-Dec-2011 12:46 PM ET
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Oh what a year it has been. Just as other years will be remembered for their breakout stories, this year may be remembered as one which brought more questions than answers. This also became evident in our voting for the top 10 stories of 2011, where no clear winner emerged. But as the saying reminds us, the show must go on. Our panel of Blind Bargains and Serotek contributors each independently submitted their votes for the top stories of 2011. This year's panel included Joe Steinkamp, Jamie Pauls, Kevin Reeves, Matt McCubbin, and J.J. Meddaugh. We'll count down the top stories of the year over the next week, and announce the number one live on Serospectives next week. So without further hesitation, let's start off with number ten, involving a new Google operating system.

Google garnered a lot of mainstream press with the release of the Chromebook, it's entry into the world of mobile computing. The open-source operating system aimed to change the way we think about computers, offering a more cloud-based computing experience, though more people may have been talking about the lack of a caps lock key. While the operating system has barely registered a blip amongst blind people, it deserves some recognition for including accessibility out of the box, nearly from the beginning of its existence. While the idea of built-in access is nothing new, its inclusion at such an early stage of its product life cycle is notable, considering how many years it took Apple to do the same and Microsoft's lack of commitment on the subject.

The accessibility features shine most in the use of the Chrome web browser, which already passed Firefox in market share according to at least one survey. The ChromeVox screen reading functions of the browser and other Chrome OS features are already filtering down to Android accessibility as well, and Google, after many frustrating hours, seems to be starting to come over to the good side of accessibility. For the blind and visually impaired, the ChromeBook will be one to watch, which is why it starts off our countdown this year at number 10.

Category: Articles
Displaying 1 comment.
jgonzalezh614 Friday, 30-Dec-2011 11:46 AM ET:

Looks like google is doing the right thing when it comes to accessible devices, hope they keep it up and soon we will all have there devices or at leaste want them


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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.

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