Microsofts UI Automation comes into play
A new royalty-free platform, dubbed UI (User Interface) Automation, developed by Microsoft will make it easier for developers to create accessibility features within their programs or make use of already integrated functions. "Microsoft is excited to offer UI Automation to the industry because it allows application developers to easily expose the rich semantic information needed by assistive technology products to create effective, interactive experiences for computer users.[...]" tells Microsofts Rob Sinclair, director of the Accessible Technology Group. UIA is the successor of the Microsoft Active Accessibility platform which (so far) hasnt won a too wide recognition among software companies. However, all the 4-year (extensive) research will go into UIA to improve it as far as possible...
Windows Vista and UIA
The UIA technology is supposed to see the light of day in Vista, Microsofts next major Windows release (currently in late alpha, early beta). When activated, it is supposed to integrate itself into several applications and automatically detects key elements (e.g. buttons, help texts). These elements will then be displayed and enhanced accordingly - depending on the disability of the individual. Microsoft confirmed that it will even back-port this technology to Windows XP. A release date hasnt been announcened yet, however, it is highly likely that UIA will ship in the early Vista RTM timeframe (Holiday 2006). Microsoft promises to make it both for developer and user easier to build and use upcoming accessibility technologies. We see early progress from Microsofts accessibility group which informed us about latest UIA developments.
Mai, 30th 2005