English is just another language -- so Windows 7 released all 36 at once!

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2009/08/06 14:31 -04:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2009/08/06/9859480.aspx

In case you haven't noticed from the other gazillion blogs and tweets, Windows 7 released today.

Windows has released a bunch of times, so what makes this one different, exactly?

Well I could be boring and explain at length why it is the best, most secure, most popular and shiny version ever.

People say that every version, so I am sure it is true again in some sense. Even Vista RTM does that by some metric, I'm sure. :-)

But you can get that from execs and official marketing materials and such. If you're here then you probably aren't looking for that.

If you are then consider the message delivered, though!

No, Windows 7 is doing something unique, something that Windows in its (depending on how you reckon it) 20-odd prior releases has never done before.

Microsoft is simultaneously releasing all 36 languages in one single wave.

I should repeat that; it sounds vaguely important....

Microsoft is simultaneously releasing all 36 languages in one single wave.

Here are some of the stats surrounding the amazing accomplishment of the final media verification, which is one of the larger of the factors that has led to delay in prior versions:


Vista RTM

Win2K8 RTM

Win 7 RTM

Total # of Images




Total # of testers




Total Test time

14 weeks (Delta for localization)

10 weeks (Delta for media validation)

8.5 days (Sim-ship)

# of images tested per day per tester




Performance Improvements Over Vista


6 Times

1000+ Times

Wow, I am stunned.

Before this, the XP/Server 2003 numbers required 3-6 months for the same work to be done, and it was more like 6-9 months in the Windows 2000/NT4 days.

With a lot fewer images and SKUs, obviously.

Now if you deal with multiple languages and have both customers and marketing organizations that serve those customers in other countries, then you know that this sim-ship has even larger meaning beyond the obvious benefit of customers not having to wait for their Windows -- it means that those marketers and salespeople can piggyback off the earliest work rather than having to wait. It is a wonderful symbolic gesture to point hows much we care about all languages.

In fact, to be pedantic in a fun way for a moment?

English was not the first language to have its media verification completed!

Both French and German actually finished before English did. :-)

Does anyone need more proof that English is just another language?

Now people who know me know that I have the same uncomfortable feeling about the "I" word (Innovation), which gets misused a lot these days. And more often from Microsoft than a lot of people.

But this accomplishment was in large part due to the creative and yes innovative changes to the way that validation was accomplished and automated.

So in a world where "everyone knows" it takes a long time to get localized product out there, I am happy to say that due to these and other amazing efforts Windows 7 turned that knowledge on its head. There has never been such a large release before of an operating system.

To everyone related to the planning, spec'ing, developing, building, releasing, testing, or beta testing of any language version of Windows 7, you are all rock stars as far as I am concerned. And you have changed the world here, you really have.

I am both proud and humble to have been a part of it.

Peter on 7 Aug 2009 2:24 AM:

That is very nice, not to have to be a 2nd-class citizen just because I prefer my software to talk to me in my native language. I have been using the localized Windows 7 RC since the localization packs went on-line, and am very happy (there were a few minor glitches with them that I never got around to reporting since I couldn't figure out where to report them after the "Report feedback" thingie from the beta disappeared).

Anyway, it is nice that Windows joins in with the rest and have simultaneous language releases…

Does all versions allow users to chose their own UI language, btw? Me and my wife have different native languages, and would both like to have the UI in our native tongue (my Mac and Linux boxes do that, but so far I have not been able to make Windows do that).

Michael Manca on 7 Aug 2009 5:08 PM:

Will there be only language packs from now on though?

Or are there fully localized versions of the OSes like in the past? If this is the case, then they were not posted on MSDN yet.

bobince on 8 Aug 2009 7:08 PM:

Language packs are a vast improvement over the deployment horror we used to have (god, remember testing on multiple different language installs, and before the days of pervasive virtual machines too... ugh). All the major LPs being out on day 1 of 7 is great. Much appreciated!

It's just a pity MUI is so PE-bound IMO. It seems a shame to have x86/x64 architecture-dependency on a resource appears primarily to be plain text.

Michael S. Kaplan on 9 Aug 2009 6:43 PM:

Hey Michael Manca -- see this blog post for info on release dates for TechNet, MSDN, and more....

Mohammad Mikaeili on 19 Nov 2009 3:12 PM:


My name is Mohammad Mikaeili

I come to Austria 1 mounth ago

and buy one PC-all in one


but my windows is german language

and i don't know this langouge

i want change diplay language to english

but i don't have install/uninstall language in regional and language tab.

please help me for this problem.

sorry for i dont spleak english good

I'am waiting for you with this email: Mohammadmikaeili@yahoo.com

for all tanx

please keep this touch

and help me too, please


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