REDMOND, Wash., April 12, 2000 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that the multilingual capabilities of Windows® 2000 are helping multinational customers such as the National Swiss Parliament and Credit Suisse First Boston do business more effectively and reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO) for their IT administrators. The fastest localization effort in the history of Windows software development culminates in not only the availability of Windows 2000 in 24 languages in 66 countries, but also the availability of the Microsoft® Windows 2000 MultiLanguage version.
“The multilingual functionality in Windows 2000 is one of the feature sets that gets the most applause when we demo it in public,” said Brian Valentine, senior vice president of the Windows Division at Microsoft. “Our multinational customers used to deploy several language versions of Windows 2000 in one office to accommodate employees or customers who speak different languages. They have been asking us for some time to simplify this. With Windows 2000, administrators can deploy a single version of the operating system, the multilingual version, which not only supports data entry in multiple languages, but allows users to change the language of the system user interface on the fly. This will significantly reduce IT costs for these key customers.”
Microsoft offers several versions of the Windows 2000 operating system to help meet the needs of multinational and multilingual businesses in overcoming the challenge of language barriers. All the versions provide sophisticated multilingual functionality, such as the ability to edit and view content in multiple languages. In the English version of Windows 2000, which was launched on Feb. 17, the user interface (UI) elements (menus, dialog boxes and help files) appear in English. For businesses that need the Windows 2000 user interface in a language other than English, Microsoft offers Windows 2000 Professional in 23 other localized languages. For businesses that require the Windows 2000 user interface in multiple languages but do not require an entirely localized UI, Microsoft offers a Windows 2000 MultiLanguage version. In this version, approximately 95 percent of the operating system is localized, allowing users to switch between multiple languages at any time, while the rest of the operating system remains in English.
“As enterprises expand globally, they often prefer to administer a single language rather than endure the complexities of managing a multilanguage environment,”
said Michael Silver, an analyst at Gartner Group.
“The multilanguage support in Windows 2000 will allow enterprises to deploy servers, workstations and laptops supporting various languages in a single domain, thus reducing complexity and management overhead.”
The Windows 2000 MultiLanguage version helps multinational corporations lower their TCO and increase efficiency. First, it enables them to roll out one operating system worldwide, instead of having to deploy a localized version of the system in each country in which they operate. For example, a United States-based corporation with subsidiary offices in Tokyo, Athens and Rome can now deploy the Windows 2000 MultiLanguage version in each office, rather than the Windows 2000 Japanese version in Tokyo, the Windows 2000 Greek version in Athens and the Windows 2000 Italian version in Rome. The time and expense of system administration is significantly reduced by the use of one system worldwide. Rather than waiting for and then applying, tracking and maintaining a different service pack, tool and application set for each localized version, IT administrators can apply the same software to every machine in the company, regardless of location.
Second, the Windows 2000 MultiLanguage version eases system support and administration. Support personnel can set the workstation to English or any other UI language to more easily troubleshoot issues, and then reset the language when the issues have been resolved. System administrators and support personnel can set the language of the workstation to English or their own preferred UI language, to more easily configure the machine for users. Once changes have been made, the UI language can be reset to the language of the machine’s primary users.
Finally, the Windows 2000 MultiLanguage version allows workstations to be shared by several users with different language preferences, eliminating the need for dual-boot configurations or dedicated machines for each language. This functionality enables workers at multinational organizations to be more productive by providing them with a system environment in which they can be more comfortable.
In Windows 2000, users’ language settings are stored in their user profile, allowing the settings to travel with them when they roam from machine to machine within a network. This enables a worker to move from one Windows 2000-based machine to another and retain the same multilingual and international settings. In addition, with the Windows 2000 MultiLanguage version, the user interface language is also stored in the user profile, enabling users to move between networked machines running Windows 2000 MultiLanguage version and retain a consistent UI language. For example, a sales representative based in Switzerland could maintain a German UI language when working on machines in both the Geneva and Zurich offices, rather than having to use a French user interface in the Geneva office.
The 200 members of the National Swiss Parliament and 46 members of the Council of States use Windows 2000 MultiLanguage version to conduct their daily communications. During their spring debate, members were able to use Windows 2000 in their own native language to write, print and search for documents and speeches with Windows 2000 Server MultiLanguage version running Terminal Services.
“We have general-purpose PCs connected to a Windows 2000 Terminal Server in the hallways of the Parliament building that can be used by our members of Parliament – many of whom have different language requirements,”
said Andreas Sidler, manager of services for the Information Technology Department in the Swiss Parliament.
“With just one installation, our users of Windows 2000 can change the language of the product to suit their needs instantly. Windows 2000 simplifies the work of our technical service and support staff, and as a result, we can support our systems in a much more efficient way.”
Credit Suisse First Boston, a leading global investment banking firm with 60 sites in 30 countries that has deployed Windows 2000 on more than 17,000 desktops and 2,500 laptops, discovered the multilingual feature to reduce overall TCO and provide greater flexibility.
“We have offices across the globe with clients and employees who speak many different languages. Using multiple localized versions of software creates high overhead for our IT support teams and is not flexible for our mobile work force,”
said Ian Saggers, engineering director at Credit Suisse First Boston.
“The multilingual features in Windows 2000 have allowed us to standardize on a consistent build worldwide, and yet provides our clients with the flexibility of choosing their preferred language no matter where they travel. Using the multilingual support in Windows 2000 is an obvious solution that increases productivity while reducing IT costs and help desk calls.”
The initial release of Windows 2000 MultiLanguage version with support for 11 user interface languages is available now. More information is available at http://www.microsoft.com/enterprise/licensing/default.htm . Customers interested in the availability of localized versions of Windows 2000 Professional should contact their local Microsoft subsidiary by visiting http://www.microsoft.com/worldwide/ . More information on multilingual support in Windows 2000 is available at http://www.microsoft.com/windows2000/guide/professional/solutions/
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