Windows 11 advisory on task switching: "pane" and "DesktopWindowXamlSource" announcements #ADVISORY #win11


 

Hi all,

The following Windows 11 advisory stems from recent discussions on task switching issues reported by screen reader users. Of the issues noted, two prominent issues and their advisories are below:

 

Issue 1: When pressing Alt+Tab, screen readers announce “pane” when you move to the app you wish to switch to.

Steps to reproduce: run multiple tasks with any screen reader on Windows 11. Then press Alt+Tab to switch between programs.

Expected: screen readers will announce the name of the window you switched to.

Actual: Screen readers says “pane”.

Cause: focus issue. Specifically this happens when task switching window isn’t dismissed fully. This is most prominent when switching to Command Prompt, Windows Terminal and similar applications.

Resolution: screen reader vendors are testing solutions.

Ideal solution source: Microsoft as it affects Narrator the most.

Affected screen readers: NVDA 2021.2 and earlier, Narrator

Screen readers with solutions applied: NVDA 2021.3

 

Issue 2: When switching apps, screen readers announce “DesktopWindowXamlSource”.

Steps to reproduce: with multiple apps open, press Alt+Tab to switch between programs.

Expected: screen readers announces only the name of the pap you are about to switch to.

Actual: screen readers say “DesktopWindowXamlSource”.

Cause: a combination of focus event and new user interface toolkit in use. Specifically, Windows 11 uses WinUI toolkit for some elements on screen, and when switching between apps, extraneous elements receive system focus.

Resolution: screen reader vendors are testing solutions.

Ideal solution source: Microsoft

Affected screen readers: JAWS 2021 and earlier

Screen readers with solutions applied: JAWS 2022 and later, NVDA, Narrator

 

Summary: although JAWS 2021 and NVDA 2021.2 provides support for Windows 11, you must use JAWS 2022 or later and/or NVDA 2021.3 or later for improved Windows 11 experience. Also, sending feedback to screen reader vendors (including Microsoft) is a must.

Cheers,

Joseph

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