REDMOND, Wash., Feb. 14, 2000 — Managing the information technology infrastructure for a multinational company presents a variety of unique challenges, chief among which is the language barrier. Companies must often deploy multiple versions of a single operating system to support different languages, increasing maintenance workload and total cost of ownership. Windows 2000 MultiLanguage Version, the first operating system to offer a choice of languages in which to display the user interface (UI), solves this problem by offering a single platform that can be deployed worldwide, saving valuable time and money. The MultiLanguage Version will be available to customers through volume licenses when Windows 2000 is launched on Feb. 17. (Click here to see a screenshot.)
Windows 2000 will be localized into 24 languages, including English, Spanish, French and Japanese. In addition to 24 localized language versions of Windows 2000, the multi-language version will allow users to select any one of these languages for their user interface.
With the MultiLanguage Version, users can choose the language they want by selecting Control Panel and then Regional Options. A drop-down box will list the available languages. The platform also enables sharing of workstations in countries or regions where more than one language is spoken, such as Switzerland, Belgium and Hong Kong.
A multinational company can significantly reduce its support costs by deploying the Windows 2000 MultiLanguage Version throughout its worldwide network. Employees in the United Kingdom could be using the same software platform as those in Japan, for example. Both can be supported by a centralized help desk in one location, as technicians can easily switch between languages to address support issues.
Also, system administrators can install a single service pack for an entire worldwide system, rather than different service packs for different language versions.
Several large multinational companies have indicated they are considering upgrading or migrating to Windows 2000 largely because of the MultiLanguage Version. The MultiLanguage Version will be available through volume licensing agreements only and will not be sold in retail stores.
“The multi-language version of Windows 2000 will primarily be deployed by multi-national corporations,” said Bjorn Rettig, the Windows 2000 program manager who spearheaded development of the MultiLanguage Version. “This version is intended to give them one platform to use worldwide, to reduce their total cost of ownership.”
“Not only are corporations’ information technology support costs reduced, but their ability to manage networks is made easier, too,” said Rettig. “Also, with a single platform worldwide, developers can test applications intended for a global audience more quickly.”
Windows 2000 MultiLanguage Version allows users to easily choose from 24 languages to display the user interface.