Also *not* new in Vista SP1 -- Bulgarian keyboard layouts

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2007/09/25 03:31 -04:00, original URI:

After mentioning this issue, regular reader Ivan Petrov asked over in the Suggestion Box:

Hi Michael,

Is Windows Vista SP1 going to add support for the Traditional (Legacy) Bulgarian PHONETIC Keyboard Layout?



Kind of the same answer as the other question, but Vista SP1 has a very hardcore philosophical principle -- no features, only bugs, and even then only serious regression bugs with no backcompat consequences.

This definitely leaves adding new keyboard layouts of unknown lineage out of the mix.

Sorry about that.... :-(


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# Mar on 25 Sep 2007 1:47 PM:

I'm not sure what you mean by "Traditional (Legacy)" Bulgarian phonetic keyboard. But I think you're talking about the Bulgarian Cyrillic Dos 241 layout that went with the Jcukeng or "Bulgarian Latin" layout as it was known in Win9x. There is little chance of that layout reappearing in Vista as Microsoft didn't include it in Win9x. Microsoft removed a number of keyboard layouts with the arrival of Win95 and replaced them with the new national standards layouts.

You could always use Microsoft's keyboard layout creator.

A Bulgarian phonetic keyboad layout for Qwerty is unlikely to appear in Windows unless an authoritive Bulgarian standards authority creates and promotes it as a keyboard standard. Microsoft is conservative with keyboard layouts and is unlikely to throw in their own.

# K-Boy on 27 Oct 2007 10:52 PM:

He is talking about the Bulgarian Phonetic keyboard layout. It WILL be included in the new Windows Vista.

There are generally two ways to put a Bulgarian letters on a keyboard, one is the BDS, which is the way letters were on the old typewriters, and Phonetic, which roughly matches the sound of the letters to the letters in the latin alphabet. Many people prefer the Phonetic, because it is much easier to learn if you know the latin, but the problem was that it had not been set as a national standard, and Windows only works with national standards. Now the Bulgarian government has adopted it as a national standard and it will be in the Vista.

# Michael S. Kaplan on 27 Oct 2007 10:58 PM:


That layout is already in Vista today. I was saying that no new and different one is happening for Vista in SP1.

Microsoft doe not only work with national standards, FWIW (a topic I have covered many times in the past).

# Ivan Petrov on 20 Dec 2007 4:14 PM:


No one is using this Phonetic keyboard layout included in Vista exept it's authors!

We have a (traditional) phonetic keyboard layout from almost 20 years!

This is the one I'm talking about!

Just ask the people of the Microsoft Bulgarian office in Sofia how many questions they have received about 'Where is the phonetic layout I know and use in Vista, not that one included there?'


Ivan Petrov.

# Michael S. Kaplan on 20 Dec 2007 4:39 PM:

The phonetic layout in Vista came from the subsidiary office in Sofia....

# Ivan Petrov on 20 Dec 2007 5:25 PM:

Hi again Michael,

... I know that very well Michael, but they were misled ...

The new Project for Keyboard layout Standard is not yet accepted as a national standard!

They have been passed 2 years and it will begun the third one in which the standard is NOT accepted !!!

This is mainly for 3 reasons:

1) The new project for standard does not recognize the existing traditional phonetic keyboard layout which is in use in Bulgaria from almost 20 years and which unfortunately was not been standardized in this 20 years, but de facto it became standard down the years among the people!

2) There have not been broad public debates about the modified BDS (Typewriter), now Bulgarian in Vista, and especially the New Phonetic keyboard layout which has nothing to do with the Traditional one!

3) There are not ergonomic researches about the proposed New Phonetic Layout, which is included in Vista.

I can only say that if Microsoft can ask their office in Sofia to make an independently research among the Bulgarians in what keyboard layout they are using and especially the young people, I'm sure Microsoft will see a very interesting results!

I can just tell you that I know the result!:

More than half of the Bulgarians use the Traditional Bulgarian Keyboard Layout and almost all of the young people are using it too.

So, please don't ignore so much people using this keyboard layout.

Microsoft is a great company and I believe it will do what it needs to be done in this case in both the interest of the Bulgarian people and it's own!



# Michael S. Kaplan on 20 Dec 2007 6:17 PM:

On the other hand, inconsistent messages, inconsistent communication in standards, and over-eagerness in pushing the subsidiary to do things before they are ready also has a result that is less than ideal -- and it also can lead to trust issues in communication and in believing there is any hurry to rush and do any particular "right" thing.

# Ivan Petrov on 20 Dec 2007 6:43 PM:

Yes Michael, I understand it very well.

We're all people so we make mistakes. I make mistakes, you make mistakes, Microsoft make mistakes ... But some mistakes can be  corrected, so I hope this is one of them.

But I'm sure it can be done something about this issue. I truly believe in that, as I believe in Microsoft as a great company!

So, please, do something to include this Traditional Bulgarian Keyboard Layout in future Service packs for and Versions of Windows!

Thank you in advance!

With best regards,


p.s.: I will try to help with everything I know and could do!

# Michael S. Kaplan on 20 Dec 2007 7:03 PM:

I'm not the guy who does keyboards anymore, so there really ain't much I could do here. Though I would have trouble advising them if they asked me, given the history....

My advice -- get the standard through officially, and get it finished -- correctly. And then communicate THAT to the subsidiary. And don't dawdle on that -- there is only so much time here.

Adding new incorrect keyboards every version is not gonna play. And the burned one has definite reason to fear the fire....

# Ivan Petrov on 20 Dec 2007 7:28 PM:

OK Michael, thanks for the advice.

I will see what can do.

By the way if you're not the guy who does keyboards, what're you doing now? I'm curious!



# Michael S. Kaplan on 20 Dec 2007 7:44 PM:

I talked about it in this post....

# Az on 27 Jan 2008 4:00 PM:

There are  no new standart(s) for BG keyboard. If you are reading what they wrote is absolutely not true. Their "standart" was NEVER accepted as standart and never discussed.

# Georgi Dimitrov on 19 Oct 2008 6:16 AM:

The Bulgarian Phonetic layout which is included in Windows Vista, is not accepted as standard too. The biggest mistake of Microsoft in this situation it that they asked Bulgarian Academy of Science for help, (old communist) and they never used this phonetic that is used from most people. (Instead they using BDS which is confusing because it is totally different layout, and people must learn 2 totally differnt keyboard layouts) They created new one, which is totally different from mass used phonetic. I thing that Ivan Petrov have in mind that this phonetic have to be fixed, there is a lot of misplaced keys.

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