That's a lot of freaking downloads, mister!

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2007/07/18 12:15 -04:00, original URI:

Late last week I needed to answer a question the other day about the number of successful downloads of Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator.

So I went to the tool that gives those stats and I found out that (between the 1.3 and 1.4 versions) as of last week there have been


downloads of this tool!

Now that number gave me pause. Even though lots of those downloads may have been by people who never built a keyboard layout, and more than a few might be the same people downloading both versions of the tool or downloading to install on another machine, there are still a lot of downloads there.

Any way you look at it, a bunch of those downloads were done by people who built a new keyboard layout for themselves.

And a bunch of those downloads were done by people who ended up building keyboard layouts for others -- sometimes for whole language communities!

A few of those downloads were even done by people who work for Microsoft in the subsidiaries who used it to produce keyboard layouts that eventually made their way into Vista, and we were able to add more keyboard layouts than any prior version due to how much easier they were to create.

The number just staggered me.

It staggered me for another reason, too -- because of the small number of actual bug reports that have come up, most of which were to do with either limitations of MSKLC (or the underlying keyboard support in the USER subsystem) or straight out feature requests. The actual bug count has been quite small!

So while technically not The most robust software project I ever worked on (that project technically had fewer bugs!), and technically not the code I have worked on that the most people have run (pieces of Windows definitely qualify for that!), I can't help feeling like as a team we touched a lot more people in a much more significant way.

From Cathy and Simon and Kanya and Gary and Shu and Jenny and little old me, not to mention all of the people who reported issues during the beta and the people who helped sign packages in the early AM and even the people in management who approved the project, something really cool has been done.

263,400,000 times. :-)


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# Asztal on 18 Jul 2007 12:58 PM:

I love MSKLC. I'm having trouble getting the created layouts to work on Windows Vista (I can go into more detail, if you like), otherwise I'd be using my custom english-hungarian hybrid layout right now.

So, thank you very much for this awesome tool :)

# Michael S. Kaplan on 18 Jul 2007 1:21 PM:

Have you downloaded the 1.4 version, designed to address the problems and limitations affecting Vista?

# KTamas on 18 Jul 2007 3:26 PM:

MSKLC is probably one of the best things since sliced bread... been using my version of US-International (extended it a lil' bit with the missing Hungarian letters and killed off those darn sticky 's and "s) for quite a while now.

# Gerard van der Land on 19 Jul 2007 3:20 AM:

I'm wondering why a number this high doesn't cause you question it's accuracy. The 1.3 version is currently #1890 and the 1.4 version #736 on popularity rating on Download Center, which is not bad, but I cannot imagine that more than a quarter of a billion people would choose to download a specific tool like this with the intention/need of customizing their keyboard layout, that would be a huge percertage of the installed base of Windows. (Note, I'm not talking about downloads, but people).

# Cristian Secară on 19 Jul 2007 1:21 PM:

Somewhat off-topic: where can I get more info on what one must done to add a custom (or alter an existing) virtual keyboard layout on a Windows Mobile device ?


# Michael S. Kaplan on 19 Jul 2007 2:28 PM:

Hey Cristi,

I do not know offhand. Seems like something for the Suggestion Box if you wanted me to ask around? :-)

# Cristian Secară on 19 Jul 2007 6:20 PM:

If one day you get/put some info on this, I would be glad to hear/read it. However, it's not a hurry. Just in case ...


# Michael S. Kaplan on 19 Jul 2007 6:28 PM:

I will probably never remember it if it is here -- if you're interested in seeing it some day you'll definitely want to put it in the Suggestion Box....

# Michael S. Kaplan on 20 Jul 2007 5:25 PM:

Hey Gerard,

The number is actually the sum of the number of downloads across all of the years of 1.3 and the time 1.4 has been out, and I do believe they are accurate.

Though of course people have pointed to me that they havr download the tool several times themelves and I know I have easily needed to download in 11-12 times, and the count is literasl successful downloads, so it is not a people count or anything.

The really popular things dwarf this number, as do the ubiquitous things like security patches and so forth. Comparatively speking, it is still a small fish in a big pond. But the number still takes my breath away! :-)

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referenced by

2007/08/19 Finding lost friends and (for something completely different) sites that suck

2007/07/27 Boot Camp 1.3 and MSKLC (also 1.3) -- excitement, enjoyment, and a wrinkle or three

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