[Marketing-Public]Accessibility as a marketing opportunity

raiph spam at temporalgyrus.com
Tue, 31 Aug 2004 04:54:27 +0100


Moz Champion wrote:

>>> Microsoft Internet Explorer hasn't even been assessed by Microsoft.
>>> http://www.microsoft.com/Resources/Government/section508.aspx 
>>
> Um, this site
> http://www.microsoft.com/enable/microsoft/section508essay.aspx
>
> states that Microsoft completes a VPAT report on each version of 
> software they produce and
> Microsoft then posts the VPAT on its corporate Web site, providing 
> both government officials
> and consumers easy access to the information.
>
> So I would be careful about what claims you make relative to 
> Microsofts relative compliance

If you knew me, you'd know I always try not to state anything I don't think
is well supported. During my research a couple months ago about current 508
status for moz, opera, and ie, I carefully read dozens of pages on the 
ms site
including the page you quoted. So I'm quite familiar with both a picture MS
paint on that page and a quite different picture that emerges when you 
dig a little.

In this case, you are even doing some significant filling in of their 
propaganda
picture for them that they didn't even really encourage that much.

In particular, where, in the page you quote, or any other MS page do 
they say
"Microsoft completes a VPAT report on each version of software they 
produce".

What they say, at least on the page you linked (and I've not found 
anything to
contradict this, and have found evidence to support it), is that:
"Microsoft has implemented a rigorous process to ensure that its product 
teams
consider Section 508 standards at each stage of design and development for
every NEW Microsoft product"
(capitals mine).

Then:
"After evaluating a product, Microsoft completes a Voluntary Product 
Accessibility
Template (VPAT) ... Microsoft then posts the VPAT on its corporate Web site"

On the page you will see a "Find VPAT" link. If you follow it, you will 
come to a
page with a list of VPATs. And guess what happens when you search the page
for "explorer". And in case that isn't enough to convince you of what is 
going on
here (it wasn't enough for me when I first did this research), one needs 
to do a
search of all microsoft:

http://search.microsoft.com/search/results.aspx?qu=%22internet+explorer%22+vpat
http://search.microsoft.com/search/results.aspx?qu=%22internet+explorer%22+%22voluntary+product+assessment+template%22

IE is not only not a new product, it's a way old product whose 
development team
had even been disbanded until June. 508 compliance isn't easy. I'd wager 
that they
are far adrift. Regardless, right now they haven't even completed a VPAT 
(or rather
haven't published one).

In the meantime we do have a completed VPAT. And it looks pretty good. And
there are other ways in which Mozilla is very well poised in terms of a 
508 story, not
least the fact that it's open source which enables the sort of system 
level and micro
level customizability that good accessibility demands.


love raiph