Go Global With Microsoft

If you’re a tech who develops Microsoft apps for the world, you probably already know about Microsoft’s TechEd event in June.

But if not, they have a Global Development & Deployment track planned.

The track promises that “developers will be provided with the tools needed to develop World-Ready solutions that support multiple writing systems that are easy to localize. IT professionals will learn important skills in deploying Windows XP and Office 2003 Multilingual User Interface version to support global businesses from New York to Beijing.”

Session details can be found here. Here are a few titles that jumped out at me:

– Deploying Office 2003 in a Multilingual Environment
– Custom Cultures and International Data
– Planning a Global Release: Many countries, Many Languages, One Process

I also recommend sitting in on Michael Kaplan’s sessions on designing databases for the world. If you’re running a SQL Server database and you’re not sure how to handle all those different character sets, this is the place to be.

I know over the years I have harped on Microsoft’s reluctance to invest fully in Web and software globalization (how come Google has 100+ language interfaces and Microsoft is stuck in the 40s). Oh, I know it’s all about ROI and piracy and so on and so forth. But Microsoft of all companies can afford a few loss leaders; for what the company has lost on the Xbox in one year it could localize MS Office into 125 languages.

But I digress.

Despite our differences, I really do recommend this event (and they didn’t pay me to say that). Microsoft has some truly top notch people working in their internationalization group and the company as a whole has done a great deal to advance the use of Unicode as the world’s default character set.

Unfortunately, I’m not going to be there, but if you are, send me an update – or a PPT.

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Author: John Yunker

John co-founded Byte Level Research in 2000 and is author of The Web Globalization Report Card. He also co-founder of Ashland Creek Press.

1 thought on “Go Global With Microsoft”

  1. If Microsoft is so adept at globalisation – why do they not localise the spelling in their English language software? I’m sure you’re aware that the English-speaking world does not share the same idioms or even terms of reference.

    Why, for example, does Microsft only offer a version of Windows (and Office) to the UK that contains US spellings in the interface? Would US users be happy using an operating system containing UK spellings such as colour, favourites, network neighbourhood, centre, dialling etc.? (Or even help descriptions like “tick the checkbox labelled…”?) Somehow, I doubt it.

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