Windows 2000 to launch with multi-language version

Microsoft Corporation announced Monday that Windows 2000 MultiLanguage Version will be the first operating system to offer a choice of languages in which to display the user interface. Though other editions of Windows 2000 will be localized into 24 languages, the MultiLanguage Version allows users to select any of these 24 languages, on the fly, at any time. Windows 2000 MultiLanguage Version will be available through volume licenses beginning this week.

"The multi-language version of Windows 2000 will primarily be deployed by multi-national corporations," says Bjorn Rettig, the Windows 2000 program manager responsible for creating the MultiLanguage Version. "This version is intended to give them one platform to use worldwide, to reduce their total cost of ownership."

With Windows 2000 MultiLanguage Version, users can choose the language they want in a variety of ways. To change the language used by the entire operating system, a tool in the Control Panel can be used. To change languages on the fly, say for creating documents in multiple languages, a tool in the system tray can be employed. With this second method, you might use the OS in English, for example, but type text into Word 2000 using Greek, along with its specific character set. Microsoft expects Windows 2000 MultiLanguage Version to be a hit with multinational corporations. And because companies can install a single platform, future updates through service packs won't require different fixes for different languages.

"Not only are corporations' information technology support costs reduced, but their ability to manage networks is made easier, too," says Rettig. "With a single platform worldwide, developers can test applications intended for a global audience more quickly.

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