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Microsoft rolls out accessibility updates for Windows 11

Tech editor Dan Howley explains the accessibility updates for people with disabilities featured in Microsoft Windows 11's update.

Video Transcript

DAVE BRIGGS: Microsoft raising its quarterly dividend nearly 10% to $0.68 a share. The new payout comes to 272 a year, payable on December 8. The company also rolling out some big updates to Windows 11 earlier. Yahoo Finance's Dan Howley joins us with the details. Hello, sir.

DAN HOWLEY: That's right. Windows 11 getting its first real big update since it was released last year. Look, Windows isn't exactly the sexiest product on the face of the Earth. You say Windows, and your eyes probably roll into the back of your head for most people, at least.

SEANA SMITH: Well, please stick with us. That's all we're--

DAN HOWLEY: Yeah, yeah, for sure, for sure. What I--

DAVE BRIGGS: The ratings draw, man.

DAN HOWLEY: Whoops. What I mean by that is they actually are adding a lot of super interesting features with this. In particular, I think the stuff that people need to look out for or should look out for is the accessibility capabilities that they've really added to this. So you look at a lot of these products, and they're difficult to use if you don't have full use of your hands, or you're hard of hearing, or you're blind.

And Microsoft is adding a bunch of new features to address those folks. Live captioning throughout the system. Basically anything that makes noise or talks to you will show up on the screen. So if you're having a video chat, that's something that's difficult for people who are hard of hearing. Now they're going to show you the captions at the top of the screen right below the camera so it looks like you're still part of the conversation.

They're also adding things like the ability to navigate the entire operating system with your voice. So you can just talk to the computer, and it will be able to click on links on a website, or start an email and start messaging people. So it's a lot of these big changes that are coming, as well as security features and some just general quality of life things. So I'm a huge Windows 11 fan. I am very excited about these updates.

SEANA SMITH: How big of a difference, though, Howley, do you see this making in Microsoft's business, right? We know Microsoft, as well as a lot of its competitors, have been under a tremendous amount of pressure. Stocks off 27% year to date. How big of a deal is this?

DAN HOWLEY: I think it's a big deal for people who like Windows and to ensure that it remains competitive with the likes of Chrome OS and Apple's Mac OS. Now, Microsoft has nothing to worry about as far as losing its dominant position as the world's most used desktop operating system. They're like 75% or something like that, just crushing everyone else. The idea, though, is to ensure that they can continue to do that.

And I think this does make a difference for a lot of people, especially folks who are gamers-- that's a huge market that they continue to go for-- and people who are very nervous about security. Everybody talks about security. And I think back in the day, when you had like XP and stuff like that, it wasn't the most secure operating system. If you talk to a lot of security experts now, they'll talk about how Microsoft has done like a 360. And now they have an incredibly secure soft-- piece of software. So, you know, I think this does make a difference at the end of the day. I think the big issue, though, is the decline in PC sales that we're seeing just across the board, not just for Microsoft.

DAVE BRIGGS: Windows 11 fans are coming for you, man, on Twitter.

DAN HOWLEY: Oh, hey, I love Windows 11. I've got it on my home PC, so don't come for me.

DAVE BRIGGS: Watch out. Dan Howley, good to see you, sir. Thank you.