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[Fsfe-uk] Free software forces Microsoft to support Welsh

From: Kevin Donnelly
Subject: [Fsfe-uk] Free software forces Microsoft to support Welsh
Date: Fri, 23 Jan 2004 14:10:26 +0000
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Just following up on this.  Some of my colleagues have been doing a bit of 
research on the WLB announcement, and it appears as though the "translation" 
will in fact be more of a "skin" or veneer.  

There are two ways of localising Windows - a Multilingual User Interface 
(MUI), and a Language Interface Pack (LIP).  The MUI provides a complete 
translation of Windows into 24 languages, but the WLB announcement said that 
the Welsh version of Windows will use the LIP.  This means that only about 
80% of the interface will be translated, with large swathes missing (eg help 
center, administrative tools, system error messages, event logs, Messenger).  

More importantly, because the Welsh version will be a LIP it will mean that 
you cannot switch between English and Welsh (this *would* be possible if the 
Welsh version were a MUI).  That is, if you have a Windows machine and you 
install the Welsh version on it, your wife will not be able to use it in 
English any more - she will *have* to use Welsh.  

Finally, the MS page where this is explained:
talks only of WinXP Professional.  This implies (although we cannot be sure) 
that the Welsh version will only apply to the more expensive WinXP 
Professional (used in offices), and not to the consumer WinXP Home.  (This 
would be similar to the situation in Catalan, as noted in my press release.) 

So it looks as though this is very much a cynical attempt by MS to do the bare 
minimum necessary to head off the advance of free software in businesses and 
the public sector by painting a very thin veneer of Welsh onto some of its 

Hmm - looks as though they *are* getting worried.


Best wishes

Kevin Donnelly

www.kyfieithu.co.uk - Meddalwedd Rhydd yn Gymraeg

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