Using Virtual PC with Windows 7: Be sure to use Integration Features when the Narrator Accessibility Feature is Enabled
There is an important item to be aware of if you are using Windows Virtual PC (VPC7) and you are also using the Windows Narrator Accessibility feature. The Narrator is an excellent aid for the visually impaired as it reads screen text and echoes verbally various actions. In addition, it will echo verbally what you are typing to ensure accuracy.
If you are running Windows 7using Virtual PC for legacy applications and are incorporating the narration feature, you will need to be aware of an important security item. Normally, when there is a secure field (such as password prompts) instead of echoing the keystroke, the narrator feature will say “hidden” instead. In the case of Windows Virtual PC, this will also be in effect when you type in the password for the guest operating system – IF – and this is a big IF – integration features are enabled. If you are using MED-V to provision these virtual PC’s you will automatically be engaging integration features.
If you are not using MED-V or VPC integration features, you may run into a situation where the Windows 7 narrator will read the contents of the password upon entry into the guest. The Windows Narrator monitors the keyboard to read keystrokes. It also communicates with Windows to check if the field is a secure field or not. In case it is a password field, narrator will not read the keystrokes. Normally, when the password is typed in the password dialog, the response from the narrator will always be “Hidden.” With integration features disabled, this translates to the Windows Narrator in the host as a simple sending of keys to a pane control.
The purpose of Virtual PC for Windows 7 was to provide a seamless integration experience through RemoteApp whether it be through simple Windows XP Mode – or through the MED-V enterprise provisioning solution. If you have users who will still need the Narrator Accessibility feature for their legacy applications, please ensure that integration features are enabled even if they are using VPC in full screen mode.