Microsoft released the Multilingual User Interface (MUI) Packs for Windows 7 RTM on August 25th, 2009 and started serving them to users via Windows Update. I just want to clarify exactly what goes into downloading and installing the MUI packs for Windows 7. First off all, no, the Windows 7 Multilingual User Interface packs are not available as standalone downloads. Microsoft is only offering the MUI packs to customers running Windows 7 Enterprise and Ultimate editions of the latest Windows client release.
“Windows 7 language packs are available for computers that are running Windows 7 Ultimate. The Windows 7 language packs can be installed only from the Optional Updates section on the Windows Update site. These language packs are not available on the Microsoft Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) Web site or through the Microsoft Download Center,” Microsoft explained.
The Enterprise SKU of Windows 7 is considered on par with the Ultimate edition but is only available to Volume Licensing customers with Software Assurance. And as you can see in the screenshot included with this article I am running Windows 7 RTM Ultimate (100% genuine and from Microsoft) and all the MUI Packs were delivered through WU. As a rule I don’t need them, I keep my GUI in English, but it’s nice to know that they’re there.
“When you install a language pack, you can change the interface language of Windows 7 Ultimate to the language that you select,” the company explained. “Language packs also let multiple users who share a computer select distinct display languages.”
As far as installation goes, the Windows 7 MUI Packs can be deployed as any other Windows 7 update. If you ever decide to uninstall a MUI Pack just go to Control Panel, Programs, Uninstall a program and then select View installed updates on the left hand side pane. Next select the updates you want uninstalled and that’s it.
Microsoft also offers another method: “To uninstall a language pack, follow these steps: Click Start, and then type Uninstall display language in the Start Search box. Click Install or uninstall display languages. Click Uninstall display languages. Select the language or languages that you want to uninstall, and then click Next. Follow the rest of the steps to uninstall this language or languages.”
In order to alter the display language of Windows 7 simply open the Start menu, and type Change display language in the Start Search box. Hit Enter. In the Region and Language dialog box under Display language select install/uninstall languages. You will be permitted to select the language you want from a drop-down list.
But when it comes down to installing Windows 7 MUI Packs, by all means, don’t go all out. Microsoft warned that it does take a toll on the computer. “If you install many additional language packs, the disk space and system performance can be affected. In particular, disk space and system performance are affected during servicing operations, such as Service Pack installations. Therefore, we recommend that you only add a language pack to your computer if you will use the language pack,” the software giant explained.
For Windows 7 Ultimate users who don’t want Windows Update to permanently feature a few dozen optional updates that are available, select all items in the list, right-click and choose Hide Updates. Control Panel/uninstall a program will offer the way to unhide hidden updates if it is ever the case.