Microsoft is offering Windows Vista users no less than 17 User Interface (UI) Language packs designed for integration with the operating system. However, the company informed that only the 32-bit editions of the latest Windows client can have LIPs implemented. In fact, the Language Interface Packs are restricted only to the English language versions of 32-bit Vista, with no support for the 64-bit variant of the operating system or for previous Windows releases. The 17 LIPs can be installed on Vista Home Basic, Home Premium, Business, Enterprise and Ultimate, but only 15 of them also play nice with the Starter SKU.
Albanian, Assamese, Bosnian - Cyrillic, Bosnian - Latin, Gujarati, Hindi, Icelandic, Indonesian, Kazakh, Macedonian, Malay, Marathi, Serbian - Cyrillic, Tamil, Uzbek - Latin, Vietnamese and Welsh are all the language UI packages offered for Windows Vista. With the exception of Icelandic and Welsh, all can also be deployed on the Vista Starter edition. The rest of the Vista SKUs are supported by default.
The Vista User Interface Language Packs are not exactly an item of novelty, as they have already been available for download for quite some time now. However, Microsoft has added two more packs namely Malay, and Assamese.
"The Malay Language (ISO 639-1 code: MS) is officially known as 'Bahasa Malaysia' or 'Bahasa Melay'. The Malay language is spoken in many countries and is estimated as spoken by between 20-30 million people throughout the world. The Malay language is spoken in several countries including Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei, East Timor, and southern parts of Thailand and the Philippines. It has also been known to be spoken in some parts of central eastern Sumatra and parts of the Riau Islands and also Borneo," revealed Microsoft's Rob Margel.
Users will have to understand that the Windows Vista Language Interface Packs (LIP) are different from the Windows Vista Multilingual User Interface Packs (MUI). While the MUI packages are limited to Vista Enterprise and Ultimate, translating the entire GUI, LIPs can be installed on all editions of the operating system, but will need a parent language (English) and will only translate parts of the user interface.
"Assamese is the official language of the northeast Indian state Assam. It is spoken mainly there but also in the neighbouring states of West Bengal, Meghalaya, and Arunachal Pradesh. There are also speakers found in Bangladesh and Bhutan. Including second-language speakers the total of Assamese speakers might be as high as 20 million," Margel added.
Windows Vista Language Interface Pack can be downloaded from here.