The current episode of Freedom Scientific’s podcast called FSCast has an extensive discussion of ARIA (accessible rich internet applications). At a high level, ARIA is a way to ensure that the complexity of desktop applications being reproduced on the web remains accessible.
The podcast is worth a listen for anyone interested in web accessibility. Although JAWS is used in some of the demonstrations, the discussion of ARIA hits at the benefits and challenges of ARIA for any screen reading user. Take a listen to the podcast directly at http://podcast.freedomscientific.com/FSCast/episodes/fscast026-january2009.mp3.
For anyone who likes to try the latest and greatest in software, a beta of Windows 7 is now available. full details with instructions on how to download and more are at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows7.
Whether you try the beta or not, there are at least two excellent resources for learning what’s happening with Windows 7 from people at Microsoft. The Engineering Windows 7 blog and The Windows Blog are resources where extensive info about how Windows7 is evolving is posted.
I’ve used the Windows 7 beta successfully with several screen readers including JAWS, Window-Eyes, System Access, and NVDA. Your mileage may very but I would suggest you run the newest versions of these programs if you do try the beta.