The use of Microsoft Windows on Intel-based McIntosh platform The successful use of micro computers is regarded as the fundamental necessity for an occupational and educational placement of people with visual impairments. People with visual impairments have long been actively adopting computers and assistive technology devices as integral parts of their lives. For example, 2002 NTIA survey reported that people with visual impairments use computers more often than people who are sighted in the area of playing games, searching for information on products or services, making online purchases, and gathering information on news, weather, and sports. It further suggested that people with visual impairments use E-Mail as a significant means of communication.
From a technological standpoint, number of products, protocols, and guidelines are devised to facilitate the use of computers. As a result, people with visual impairments now have relatively rich options to choose when completing tasks using computers. For example, several screen reading products are available in assisting visually impaired users for accessing information on computer screen. However, it has also been factual that people with visual impairments have limitations in choosing appropriate platforms that these assistive technology software could be operated.
Over the years, the personal computer market has been divided by IBM-based open architecture computers and Power-PC based McIntosh computers. On the other hand, it can also be viewed from the point of the operating systems, where Microsoft Windows and Apple’s proprietary operating system. Data made available by Net Applications credits Mac OS X with a share of 7.31% of the operating system market with Windows at 91.79%. Out of this, Windows Vista accounts for 10.48% while Mac OS has 3.28% and Mac Intel 76.91%. The figures released by Net Applications are illustrative of the operating system market at the end of December 2007.
Wide selection of assistive technology software and hardware devices for people with visual impairments were developed on Microsoft Window-based platform and as a result, visually impaired computer users were limited to Intel-based computers. Furthermore, assistive technology specialists were limited to Microsoft Window-based computers as well because more software used by their clients were developed on this platform.
In 2005, Apple decided to use Intel-based chipsets and processors on their personal computers, making it possible for the Windows operating system run natively on the architecture.
This presentation will focus on the use of windows operating system on Intel-based McIntosh computers. The presentation will