Multilingual User Interface packs for Windows Vista and Windows XP Professional are not as easy to come by as Microsoft partners and customers would expect. The general presumption seems to be that the MUI packs are available as separate downloads from the Redmond Company. This is not the case. Far from it in fact. The MUI packs are designed to provide support for multiple languages during the operating system's installation. Microsoft has applauded that fact that its latest operating system will change the strategy associated with multiple
languages. There is however a little detail that Microsoft failed to emphasize, the MUI packs are not available for all Windows Vista editions.
"We advise that the MUI for Vista is not available as a separate product and that this functionality is included in the Windows Vista Ultimate and Enterprise Editions. We also advise that the MUI for Windows XP Professional is not available as a separate product and that to obtain a license to run the MUI version of Windows XP Professional, customers will need to either acquire Windows Vista Business with Software Assurance, or as an alternative to acquire Windows Vista Ultimate through the OEM channel. These two options both allow downgrade rights to the MUI version of Windows XP Professional," revealed Lisa Michigan from the Microsoft licensing team.
Microsoft overhauled the process of applying MUI packs to Windows XP with Vista. Language packs are no longer deployed on top of the English version of the operating system in Vista to create a localized user experience. "In Windows Vista, the MUI architecture separates the language resources for the user interface from the binary code of the operating system. This separation makes it possible to change languages completely without changing the core binaries of Windows Vista, or to have multiple languages installed on the same computer. Languages are applied as language packs containing the resources required to localize part of, or the entire, user interface in Windows Vista," Microsoft stated.