I have been slow to change my mental model of what Microsoft has become.
I still carry the image of the aggressive Bill Gates who stole the design of the Mac OS, and shipped IE bundled with windows to hurt Netscape, and was hit with anti monopoly laws.
But today it’s a very different company. Among other things, I am pleasantly surprised to discover that they have a clear focus on accessible design. The CEO Satya Nadella predicts that inclusive design will go mainstream this year, and it should move upstream in the design process:
“We used to call it assistive technologies and it used to be a checklist of things you did after the product was built,” he says. Now it’s “about taking this way upstream into the design process. What if we said upfront we want a design for people of different abilities to fully participate?”
As I mentioned earlier, the power of accessibility was a key find for me in 2018, and I am happy to see that people at companies like Microsoft are serious about it.
I suspect that other firms will copy Microsoft in this area and we will have better products for everyone.