This morning was cold, very cold. After breakfast, which featured eggs and toast, and wonton soup and breakfast beef, we made our way to the Microsoft Office. The funny thing was that the building was actually very close; while we were eating breakfast in the we noticed that the Microsoft building was actually across the road! When we were done we strolled on over…watch out for the cars…they’re everywhere.
Today has been focused on two main topics, i.e. Localization and Live.com. The first session was run by Edward Ye from Microsoft Redmond and the second by Steve Macbeth from Microsoft China.
It’s always interesting to sit in these presentations (well, not always) and get the localized perspective. Because we are in China the topics mostly revolved around the APAC region/Asian cultures. The Live.com presentation focused on the Chinese Beta release of the Microsoft Search Engine, while the Localization presentation spent a lot of time talking about…localization!
In regards to Tablet PC and Ultra-Mobile PC there has been little mention, although what was mentioned seemed instrumental to some of Microsoft’s future intentions. Localization for e.g. is Microsoft's big Corporate and OEM push to make the Vista experience more culturally sensitive, or all inclusive out-of-the-box if you like. That means we will not see as many language packages, but rather language integration in the OS.
PowerPoint slide regarding MUI
Even the shell32.dll used in Windows XP has now been split into two to provide a better language experience, i.e. it has now a new tier called shell32.dll.mui. This was done to separate the language tier of the source code (normally embedded in the OS) and placed it in it’s own layer for easier service pack updates and mutilpe usage scenarios. MUI is the (Windows Localization) Multilingual User Interface that Stores each language strings (resources) separately from Operating System Code. MUI supports many new features this year of which I thought these were interesting:
- Multilingual Desktops
- Support up to 208 Languages (99 out of the box), with 63 Language Interface Packs additionally available.
- Support close to 100,000 characters, including 75,000 for Chinese users
- 168 keyboards
- 191 fonts (THE DATA FILE THAT SHOWS HOW A PARTUCLAR CHARACTER SHOULD BE SHOWN) (68 new)
- EACH FONT REQUIRES a rendering engine to display the fonts
- 8 Speech Recognition languages
- 12 handwritten languages supported! (TABLET PC STUFF)
So this has been my morning. After the session we had Pizza from Beijing’s famous Mr. Pizza! Now I’m about to go into another sessions and with a bit of luck rip a VLOG with Nick White from Redmond…more on him soon (BTW, I did have a great conversation with him regarding the Q1 and ASUS r2H).