Over 55 Language Interface Packs (LIPs) are currently available for download free of charge from Microsoft. Language Interface Packs are resources that all Windows 7 users can leverage in order to translate their copy of the Windows client into a second language, do not cost anything on top of the OS, but are inferior in terms of the user experience they provide to Multilingual User Interface (MUI) Packs.

With the MUI packs Windows 7 customers can access complete translations of the platform’s UI, but only whose running Ultimate and Enterprise SKUs can access them for free. And while MUI packs are only available for Windows 7 Ultimate and Enterprise, LIPs can be integrated into all the editions of the OS, as long as a base language is present.

“Windows 7 will continue to enable the widest range of people across the world to use Windows in their own language by providing Language Interface Packs in over 55 languages. LIPs are built using MUI technology and provide translation of the UI (User Interface) most commonly used by Windows users. LIPs do not require a separate software license.

They are available to downloaded for free and installed on any edition of a Genuine copy of Windows 7: Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise, or Ultimate,” revealed Stephen L Rose, Sr. Community Manager – Windows IT Pro Client.

As far as LIPs go, the downloads can be grabbed from a special page on the Microsoft Unlimited Potential website. Users need only select the Language Offerings tab, click on an area their country belongs to and access the LIP offered for their language from the drop down menu on the right hand side of the screen. They will also be able to check the base language requirements via this page.

“Because the entire UI is not translated, LIPs require that the base or parent language requirement be present on the machine before installation. After the LIP is installed and selected as the UI display language, the elements of the UI that are not translated into the LIP language will continue to be displayed in the base or parent language.

Some LIP languages can be installed over more than one parent language. For example, the Catalan LIP can be installed over the Spanish or French language pack,” Rose added.

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