When language is a one-way choice

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2010/05/21 07:01 -04:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2010/05/21/10013738.aspx

So everyone knows that you can only [legally] get Multilingual User Interface (MUI) support on Windows in the Enterprise and Ultimate SKUs.

Some people don't care much for this, technically I don't either. But that can be a topic for another day.

And yes they do it differently in Apple. That can be for some other day, too.

The "legally" issue is one I am not going to explore today, either.

But there is a fun scenario that our OEMs will sometimes notice and not be happy about.

Like needing to ship 30 or more different packages so that the per single user interface language situation that may be needed all over the world for all of the other SKUs.

This is just really really ugly.

So they added support for that scenario where an OEM might want to ship multiple languages in one image, and then after the user chooses one language the setup itself can then delete all of the files associated with the various "roads not taken" represented by other languages.

I once mentioned to one of the program managers how wasteful it seemed to me to build a whole huge image of files only to have a huge chunk of them assured of deletion.

She suggested an analogy to the female reproductive cycle which I will not share here despite its admitted applicability; you can probably gather what the analogy is without further hints....

There is one interesting side effect of this design, though.

The one-way nature of the decision.

Once you choose the language you cannot choose again.

There haven't been a ton of people to tun into the problem of the wrong decision in setup leaving one in the wrong state.

The report caused me to smile a bit....

...the number of calls generated by users who are selecting incorrect language during OOBE is not significant but there have been several users who have called in for support on this regards.

Currently, we do not have detailed information on why users have chosen the wrong language.


It is likely fair to expect that confusion in the use interface and the consequences of the choices made in it are the most likely contributing factors, under the "when you hear hoof beats expect horses not zebras" doctrine, right? :-)

Bolt on 26 May 2010 3:43 PM:

"She suggested an analogy to the female reproductive cycle..."

Cue the sexual harassment panda.

Michael S. Kaplan on 26 May 2010 4:23 PM:

That was my general feeling, but as she was female and I did not feel harassed, I let it alone (and carefully avoided details here so I could not be accused myself!)....

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