February 21 is UNESCO’s International Mother Language Day, which promotes linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. The theme of International Mother Language Day this year is “Local languages for global citizenship: spotlight on science.” Microsoft salutes this day and acknowledges the important role we play in bridging the gap between language and technology.
Microsoft offers many resources to help bring localized software, devices and services to people in their native languages. To provide easier access to this information, the Microsoft Language Portal now includes the Language Toolbox, which provides links to a wide range of language resources and tools provided by Microsoft. We’ll expand this list as new offerings become available. All of these features are free, either as direct web services or as downloads. The following is a summary list of the language offerings:
Get Microsoft apps and content in your language
Create apps and content in your language
Stay informed about language efforts at Microsoft
Well... hooray... sort of. What I don't quite understand is the somewhat haphazard approach to localization. I'll give you an example. First we got Windows 8 (ok, kudos), then Office (kudos again) but not Windows Phone or text entry methods for our locale. Now I hear that work is about to start on tools for developers (which is somewhat insane if you consider the potential userbase) but at the same time Office for iPad is only available in 29 languages. For small to medium locales, there should be a progression which emphasises maximum user impact, not the same standard approach that's taken for big languages like German. And is you do do a langpack for something like Office, then make sure it's available for all the locales which have a desktop langpack. The end-user doesn't really get it why you can have one for Windows desktop for example and Office 365 but not iPad. It's all a bit illogical.
You should update the Windows Keyboard Layout Creator, and urgently release a 64-bit version. It is a bit frustrating that this excellent tool refers only to Windows versions that are no longer supported, and that currently many computers come with (or
are ready to be upgraded to) 64-bit Windows but this tool generates 32-bit DLLs only.