Microsoft Releases Multilanguage Version of Windows 2000
- By Scott Bekker
Microsoft Corp. this week came out with the first cut of its
Windows 2000 Professional, MultiLanguage Version. The client OS is designed to
simplify Windows 2000 rollouts, usage and support in multinational corporations
and multilanguage organizations. Reference customers include Credit Suisse
First Boston and the National Swiss Parliament.
has already released Windows 2000 Professional in 24 languages, but the Multilanguage
version allows users to switch among languages on the fly. Approximately 95
percent of the operating system in the multilanguage version is localized, with
the remaining 5 percent in English.
The main business benefit is an easier rollout of the
operating system because an organization can purchase licenses based on total
employees rather than worrying about ordering different versions of the OS for
employees with different language needs, according to Microsoft. IT logistics
are also simplified because an administrator can switch the language at a
workstation to support or administer the box even if the user requires a
Microsoft also promotes the version for use with roaming
profiles, which keep a users language settings along with all other personal
settings on the network. For example, a German sales representative based in
Switzerland could maintain a German language interface when working on a
machine at an office in France. Such scenarios are far off for most organizations,
however, as they would require an Active Directory implementation.
This version supports traditional Chinese, simplified
Chinese, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Spanish,
and Swedish. Microsoft came close to delivering the release within its target
of six weeks from the Feb. 17 launch of Windows 2000.
A refresh release scheduled for mid-July is set to add
support for Arabic, Brazilian, Czech, Danish, Finnish, Greek, Hebrew,
Hungarian, Norwegian, Polish, Portugese, Russian, and Turkish.
Brian Valentine, senior vice president of Microsoft’s
Windows Division, says the multilanguage version has been one of the most
popular demonstration points in Windows 2000. “Our multinational customers used
to deploy several language versions of Windows 2000 in one office to
accommodate employees or customers who speak different languages. They have
been asking us for some time to
simplify this,” Valentine said in a statement.
Michael Silver, an analyst at Gartner Group (www.gartner.com), predicts that the ability
to deploy a single version of the operating system supporting several languages
in a single domain will reduce complexity and management overhead. – Scott
Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.