I spent some time this evening watching the Microsoft build event, mainly James Phillips’ session on the Power stuff. (That isn’t the proper name, but you know what I mean). I’ll go back and watch the main keynotes, probably once I have read what my analyst peers make of it. I plan to watch several other sessions too. Alternatively, I could read Holger Müller’s tweet stream.

Microsoft has significant ambitions in HRTECH with Dynamics, and I see many of my vendor clients making increasing use of the Microsoft stack, for instance, with Azure and Power BI. Understanding what Microsoft is up to is important to me. Events like this are very useful to learn a lot in a short period of time This post isn’t about Microsoft in HRTECH, although that post is long overdue, dear reader, yes, I know. Good things come to those who wait.

What I do want to highlight is two tiny icons. These icons have super powers.

Microsoft accessibility controls highlighted. In keynote talk with ASL and captions.
Microsoft accessibility controls highlighted.
settings for captions.
Captions options

The sessions had multi-language captions and American Sign Language support. The software industry talks a lot about accessibility. But it is really good to see Microsoft actually doing it. The live autocaption feature in Teams is excellent. I use it all the time now. It is really good when you have someone with echo or other evil sound issues. This is one of those cool positive externalities that come from Universal Design. Next time you have sound issues, hit the autocaption button, and your life will be better.

James Governor’s tweet about sound issues

I’ve written about Microsoft’s commitment to inclusive and universal design a while ago It is good to see it continuing and strengthening. Now if they could fix single sign-on for teams and their identity management next, please. Also please don’t rename any other products. Office was just fine with the name it had. Thanks.