MSNBC and Microsoft's Response (fwd)
fpennell at u.washington.edu
Mon Jul 22 08:47:35 PDT 1996
Here is an interesting exchange re the new Microsoft/NBC news site.
These messages are from one of the Trace Center's Listserves. Francie
Date: Sat, 20 Jul 1996 08:19:21 -0500
From: Kelly Ford <kford at teleport.com>
Reply-To: uaccess-l at trace.wisc.edu
To: Multiple recipients of list <uaccess-l at trace.wisc.edu>
Subject: MSNBC and Microsoft's Response
I appreciate the efforts of Microsoft. Certainly things are better
than they were years ago, but why is this the stock reply when
something's inaccessible. Why isn't this investigated before the
product is released? Why must those of us who use access technology
wait four weeks (that time frame given by another who responded to my
question when I wrote to enable at microsoft.com) to expect any changes.
With the launch of MSNBC this week and the Slate magazine
(www.slate.com) Microsoft is trying to pioneer new media formats. It
is unfortunate that accessibility is once again put in the back seat.
How about looking into why Microsoft continues to launch major web
sites and media efforts that are inaccessible instead of the
accessibility of a site that we all know doesn't work correctly with
screen readers. Users of access technology deserve better and
certainly Microsoft with the billions of dollars it has can afford
There's an old saying about fool me once, fool me twice. How many
times do we have to watch a Microsoft product on the net come out
that's inaccessible before the phrase "we are looking into it, please
direct feedback to enable at microsoft.com," gets old?
On Thu, 18 Jul 1996 02:07:28 -0500,
Charles (Chuck) Oppermann <chuckop at microsoft.com> wrote:
>We are looking into the accessibility of the MSNBC site. Please direct
>specific questions or comments to our accessibility email address at
>enable at microsoft.com and/or to techquestions at msnbc.com. We welcome
>comments about the accessibility of Microsoft's products and services.
>Windows Accessibility Group
>Email: chuckop at microsoft.com
>>From: Janina Sajka[SMTP:janina at afb.org]
>>Sent: Monday, July 15, 1996 11:09 PM
>>To: Charles (Chuck) Oppermann
>>Cc: guiaccess at LISTSERV.NODAK.EDU; janina at igc.org; uaccess-l at trace.wisc.edu
>>Subject: MS NBC
>>We took a brief look at the MS NBC site today (http://msnbc.com).
>>We are seriously concerned about what seems to be pretty poor
>>access considerations there. What's going on? Can you provide
>>any clarification? Did those people consult with you or any of
>>the access folks at MS? I would expect that a major new service
>>like MS NBC would have been built with disabled people's access
>>in mind--but it doesn't appear so at first blush.
>>The site opens with a flashing icon and seems to be dominated by
>>tables. There appears to be no text-only alternative. There are
>>many image maps but no alt-tags used. The file extensions are all
>>.asp--what is that??
>>Using lynx On opening http://msnbc.com we got the message: "badly
>>formed page." Was that the flashing cursor??
>>I sincerely hope MS can do better than this by disabled
>>communities. This is most distressing considering, especially,
>>the commitments we've been hearing from MS regarding MS products
>>becoming more accessible in recent months.
>> Janina Sajka, Director
>> Information Systems Department
>> American Foundation for the Blind (AFB)
>>janina at afb.org
------ Forwarded message ends here ------
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