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[1]Before we explore Microsoft’s new operating system, here are some language-related pieces of information that you might not have read about so far: The new glossary for Windows 7 is available. You probably know some of the history of the so-called “Microsoft glossaries.” These were never really glossaries but large translation memories with the translation data of the user interface for many of Microsoft’s software products. From 1994 through the summer of 2006 they were available for free on one of Microsoft’s FTP sites. In July 2006 the free offer was replaced with a multilingual glossary, which now is gone as well. What still remains is the Microsoft Language Portal [2]. The interface of the portal is available in German, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and of course English, but much of the language content is available in many more languages. Aside from a very fast glossary search from English into a very large list of target languages, you can download style guides for the same large set of languages. Or you can find links to Microsoft’s attempt at crowdsourcing, the Microsoft Terminology Community Forum, where users can comment on terms that are to be included in future projects. The terminology search feature now includes the terminology of Windows 7—important data for everyone who translates software applications for the Windows operating system.

The translation memory files that were previously available for free can also still be accessed, but not for free. However, they do of course contain the updated Windows 7 and other current materials. What has recently changed for the positive is the price tag. Previously you had to be a member of MSDN for at least US$699 a year to access them, but now you can also access them with a TechNet subscription for US$349. You can find links to both subscription models right on the Language Portal.

Like its predecessor it comes in a variety of flavors and price tags. With Vista, the purchase of either the Professional or the Ultimate versions was a no-brainer for many because of the backup facilities it offered. In Windows 7, these backup features are not only made better but are also available in all other versions. So, is there a need to buy more than the Home version? There is one really good reason left for language professionals  to  buy  the  Ultimate version (especially project managers and other folks who have to work in many languages): the availability of the client language packs for that version. You are able to run your operating system in Arabic, Bulgarian, various flavors of Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, and Ukrainian. Phew—thank goodness for copying and pasting!

And the “running” of the operating system not only includes dialog boxes in different languages but all other locale- and language-specific settings as well, including the speech recognition engines. The much-praised speech recognition engine of Vista is also available in Windows 7. It is not available for all the languages listed above, but you can find it for Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish.

If you really have a hard time falling asleep and want to read some technical information on foreign language versions of Windows, check this site: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/goglobal/ee461121.aspx [3].

Here are some of the little things for which I owned special XP utilities and that are now part of the operating system:

The WinKey has always been my little friend and I have written about it in the past, but its activities were more or less confined to Now there is a whole plethora of new ones. My favorite is:

And one other additional helpful Windows 7-specific shortcut:

Happy shortcutting! JZ