“When will Windows Phone support my language?”
In some form, it’s a question I hear nearly every day. As a member of the phone’s international engineering team, it’s my job (and passion) to help make Windows Phone speak more languages and work in more places around the world.
Today I want to provide a big-picture overview of our language plans for Windows Phone in Mango—something that we haven’t detailed in one place before. We get a lot of questions, and I hope this helps clear up any uncertainty about what to expect this fall when Mango is released—now here come the lists!
How do you say Windows Phone in Greek?
One of the things I love about my job is that I get to work on so many different parts of the phone. Translating all the words you see on the screen—the user interface— is just one part of making a more cosmopolitan smartphone. It also requires a great on-screen keyboard, beautiful fonts that render text crisply on a small screen, and the expansion to new markets of key companion services like Marketplace and Xbox LIVE.
Although we still have a long way to go, Mango represents a sizeable step forward. At launch last year we supported 5 display languages: English (US and UK), French, German, Italian, and Spanish.
In Mango, we’re adding 17 more: Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese (simplified and traditional), Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Hungarian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian (Bokmål), Polish, Portuguese, Russian, and Swedish.
The Zune software will be available for the same set of languages.
I want to stress that you might not see all these display languages listed as options on your phone. The exact display options depend on your handset manufacturer and mobile operator.
Why doesn’t the phone just come with the entire set of display languages? For one, they take up a significant amount of space, leaving less room for music, pictures, and other content. Also, an operator may not be able to support a particular language. For example, an operator in Norway might not feel comfortable supporting a phone with Hungarian. That said, many phones likely will have multiple display languages installed.
Displaying some of these new languages required new phone fonts. Specifically, we’ve added 4 beautiful new fonts for the East Asian languages:
These fonts come with the display language, so they’re only available if that language is present on your device. In addition, Mango now includes the Segoe UI Symbol font, which includes emoticons (Emoji), the new Indian rupee currency sign, and other useful symbols.
Touch typing in Turkish
Moving from output to input, Mango also expands the set of languages you can type using the on-screen keyboard.
The 20 new keyboard options are: Brazilian Portuguese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Hungarian, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Malaysian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Swedish, Traditional Chinese, Turkish, and Ukrainian.
The keyboard languages shown in italics also support text prediction, which makes typing on your phone faster and easier. Even better, all these input languages are available on any Windows Phone, regardless of which display languages come with it.
The new East Asian keyboards—which were developed in Asia by the same team that creates them for Windows and Office—are especially neat. We’ll explore them in more detail in a future post.
A view of the Start screen in Finnish (left), one of the 17 new display languages coming in Mango for Windows Phone. We’ve also created new keyboards for typing in East Asian languages such as Japanese (right).
Buying apps and playing games
I know many of you also want to know about our global rollout plans for services like Marketplace and Xbox LIVE.
As we announced last month, starting this fall you’ll be able to buy apps from Windows Phone Marketplace in 35 countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom, and the United States. (The specifics of how you buy an app and which apps are available in Marketplace do vary by country.)
This fall you’ll see a significant increase in the number of new countries where the Xbox LIVE service for Windows Phone is available. The Zune Marketplace for music, video, and podcasts is also expanding to more markets. We’re not quite ready to announce specifics just yet—expect to hear more later this summer.
Finally, we get many questions about specific phone features—especially ones related to searching and mapping— and where they’ll be available. Here’s a list of ones we hear about most:
While I hope you’ll agree that Mango is a step forward, I’m all too aware that there’s still much to do. Two areas we’re working hard to address in future releases are languages with complex scripts and extending services to more markets. Let me briefly explain.
Complex scripts are used to write languages such as Arabic and Hindi, where the displayed character depends on its neighbor (“contextual shaping”), and languages written right-to-left such as Hebrew and Urdu. Many of the controls used in Windows Phone require enhancement to properly display such scripts.
You’ll see the first fruit of this work in Mango: text messages will render properly in Arabic and Hebrew. Clever programmers can also create apps in some of these languages. But Internet Explorer Mobile, email, and the copy and paste feature can still become confused by complex scripts in Mango. The good news is we understand the problem and know what needs to be done.
Extending services such as Marketplace or Xbox LIVE to more markets, on the other hand, is a very different type of challenge—as much legal and organizational as it is technical. But we’re working hard to scale up our engineering effort from a couple dozen countries to the entire world.
I hope to write about both challenges, and how we’re addressing them, in future blog entries. In the meantime, I’d love to hear what you think.
John McConnell, Principal Program Manager, Windows Phone Engineering
Hope for arabic and urdu support....
"Why doesn’t the phone just come with the entire set of display languages? For one, they take up a significant amount of space, leaving less room for music, pictures, and other content. Also, an operator may not be able to support a particular language."
It seems to me a valid excuse, I think anyone would install more than three languages in your phone, unless it is a polyglot. Also do not have to install all on the phone, if in the process of updating the phone give us a choice which language download, just unload in which we are interested.
Mister John McConnell, I have a HTC HD7, buy it factory released, ie no operator is involved, so in this case it is not a valid excuse "Also, an operator may not be Able to support a special language. "
We appreciate that gives us the ability to download a language of our choice in the next update to Windows Phone 7.8, and probably this would be the last update for my phone.
Thanks and sorry for my poor English, I speak Spanish.
Please update your phone languages to include Thai. You are selling this Windows version phones in Thailand and ppl can't use them.I bought this Nokia Lumia 900 for my wife and she can't use it and the store won't take it back. Really stuck here. She needs Thai on her keyboard. Hopefully you can get it included in Version 7.8 or send out another update to support it because it isn't in 7.5.
What a shame though, I just discovered that old Nokia 6700 Classic can read Georgian fonts and WP7 with all its update patches still displays squares:(
So in terms of languages, will all Windows Phones running Windows Phone 8 have all display languages, just like all Windows 8 PCs have all languages, regardless of OEM and carrier (if if supports broadband wireless services)? I hope so! But if not, my future phone in the next 18 months or so will be another Samsung Windows Phone 8, because it supports all languages, according to the AT&T interactive tutorials that I saw online*. I don't care about screen time-out anymore, because the screen goes off after a while when you don't use it.
Why do I care about display languages, and why I choose a Samsung, not HTC or Nokia? Here's why:
HTC or Nokia: Language depends on carrier and manufacturer
Samsung: All languages supported
Fortunately, if your carrier is AT&T and you want to see what languages are supported, try checking all AT&T Windows Phone 8 device learning centers starting this fall. There, you should find the phone that contains the languages that you need.
Go to Device Overview > On-device Setup Wizard, then go to step 2 of that interactive tutorial to see a list of supported languages for that device. The first 7 languages are shown, but the full language list will also be on MSDN this fall. If the language list on the phone matches the language list on MSDN, then it's likely to support all display languages.
Tip for developers: Access the Windows Phone Emulator, then go to Settings > System > Region & Language > Display Language. Scroll through the list of languages. Verify the image on the AT&T interactive tutorial (you must scroll to the top of the list of the emulator to see if it matches the list on the AT&T tutorial).
* Source: att.deviceanywhere.com/.../15288
Correction: The Samsung Focus 2, the Focus S, the Focus Flash, the Omnia W, and the Omnia M models support all 22 languages mentioned in this post as of launch day, 11/06/2011. The Focus 1 and the Omnia 7 support only five languages.
Well, the thing is I saw teh same answer from Microsoft about Hebrew support almost a year ago. These particular words "we understand the problem and know what needs to be done" are used again.
So, I assume that Microsoft have no attention to progress with developing RTL support ( be more specific Hebrew support, because in 6.5 Arabic was in official ROM). My guess is, there're some other Issues that have nothing to do with developing at all. Mega company and offices in Israel. Microsoft can't make it work...... hmmm.
Please, I'll be more then happy, do correct me if I wrong.
Good to read about Hebrew.
I've been trying out Mango, and for the most part Hebrew support is already pretty good (most of the stuff is ok, some stuff rarely appears mirrored, and there are hacks to enable Keyboard) - the thing that's REALLY bugging me is the lack of support for Israel in Bing.
I must admit that it takes a lot of patient to move from BB and iOS to Mango as a lot of features are now missing in Mango. Language support is the biggest thing for me. I'm not sure how long I can wait around.
Anyway, I hope to see more language support for Mango before the OS die on me again just like how pocketPC phone did a few years back when everyone I know switched to BB or iPhone for more features that work for them.
I recently bought my first windows phone (Samsung Omnia W) the OS is good but there are few basic issues which I think could have been avolded.
I realized that it doesn't support Hindi fonts. While my I face no such issue with my Iphone. Any news/fix around it.
Moreover, there is a challange in terms of setting up a larger font size in general. The default font is small and at times there is problem reading. In terms of network the phone is default on 3G- there is no enable/disable 3G option. Bad for the battery and while I have been talking to Samsung here - they have no clue. Their demo phones have a different firmware and the service centres are confused - not sure what to do.
I also think that we need to look at how the 'Windows Market' interacts. I have not been able to set up my credit card on that, there is always some error or the other but no clue on what the issue is. While the experience has been pretty smooth on ituns/store.
I am a huge windowsphone fan, having used 5, 6.1, 6.5 and now 7.1. I bought an Iphone only to see how it compares with windowsphone. Now with Mango and nokia lumia 800, I am happy with the comparison.
However, I still cant see unicode characters on display (SMS, Browsing etc). Iphone effortlessly shows Indian languages. Is this such a big enhancement to have hindi, Assamese, Bengali etc as display languages.
Can I download any thirdparty app to enable this display languages?
It is good news that Mango's new feature and performance.
I try to access my HTC T8788 Windows phone via USB to replaced Default Font "Sagoe WP" by another Unicode font.
I see two "HTC T8788" in explorer BUT no file display they both empty.
I developed an app to create custom multy-lingual keyboard with over 260 Unicode Characters for East African Languages. When I sendEmail, SMS & Search using 260 Unicode Characters, WP7 font show Boxes instead of these Unicode’s. I notice that WP7 use Sagoe WP as a default font and unable to change it programmatically.
Is there any advice? will you please help me and add Ethiopia in your list of 35 countries?
Please email to me on: email@example.com
Hii,,, i'm wondering if you have any plans with croatian language, at least croatian keyboard and local search,, i know that talking to the phone in croatian would probably be a SF bit you newer know, :-) and it would also be nice if we would be able to buy stuff from marketplace here in croatia,,
As a WinPhone developer I'd like to localize my app in more languages than my phone supports. This poses a major hindrance for me because the device doesn't give me access to all the languages. I know the emulator has them all, but we all know better than to do testing on an emulator. PLEASE give us an option to install more languages - at the very least on developer-unlocked devices.
Please benchmark your plans on how iPhone, Android and Samsung Bada are doing. I am concerned you are not targeting to become competitive:
"I want to stress that you might not see all these display languages listed as options on your phone. The exact display options depend on your handset manufacturer and mobile operator."
It is really, really important that users can install languages (fonts, text input, UI/app translations) themselves (or the device installs those by itself) . E.g. Samsung enables this even in their feature phones. iPhone supports this too.
There are hundreds of millions of people who either:
- Live in country different their own and are not being served by the standard language packs (e.g. there are 2.3 million Koreans living in China only, how they gonna communicate their relatives in Korea if their phone supports ONLY China and English or ONLY Korean and English?)
- Travel in abroad (i.e. How to show your destination address you have received via SMS to a Thai, Arabian or Chinese taxi driver if your phone does not support the local script?)
- Speak and write other language than their own and use those languages with their friends/business partners
So while you serve your direct customers (operators, ODMs, OEMs), please remember that you need to know what consumers want.
And by the way, expats are often also pretty good and well-paid consumer segment ;-)
Alright, I have the new Mango on my phone, but e-mails I get with Chinese (traditional) characters in it are still not represented right. I've tried enabling the Chinese Traditional keyboard to try to get those correctly, but to no avail. I get quite a few e-mail from friends in Hong Kong and Thailand and I'd like to be able to see the characters. How do I enable that?
First off: I finally got Mango installed, and I'm pretty happy so far! As far as I'm concerned, Windows Phone is THE best OS and UI on andy phone ever seen! Yep, that's rignt! :)
Still, there is always room for improvement (as you said yourself). Concerning language for instance. I live in Norway, and would like to see my phone fully converted to the Norwegian language. On my LG Optimus7 I now have Norwegian dates, browser language, keyboard etc., but still no Norwegian display language. It seems I would have to buy a new Optimus7 with Mango preinstalled in order to get it. Why? Because it takes up space? Really?? Why not letting us at least install the display language of our choosing? I'm not interested in Hungarian menues anyway..
I'm not really sure I mean this as a complaint. Maybe rather some sort of half-annoyed expression of a wish. :)
Keep up the great work!
I have to join the chorus of frustrated voices who simply want to apply the display language of their choice on their otherwise beautiful Windows phones. I did my research, and discovered that Mango would let us change the system location, search language, and other elements of the phone. But what is the point, if I cannot change the display language of the phone? I don't want EVERY display language on my phone, I just want ONE. But I want to be able to chose which one. Here's the thing, having access to one's native language--regardless of where one lives on the face of the earth--is not an option; its a necessity. It is not at all like not having access to many of the apps that are available on other operating systems--the market will naturally take care of that. Those apps will come to the Windows marketplace, and so I can forgive excuses like "Well...we can't do it all at the start" regarding third-party apps. But in denying consumers the ability to use their phones as naturally and intuitively as possible from the outset, MS and the carriers of Windows phones have produced something that is a far cry from a full-function phone. This is a fundamental error that indicates a kind of limited vision on the part of designers, and makes me wonder about the long-term viability of the Windows phone. In my opinion, if MS and the carriers keep making mistakes like this one, the Windows phone may go the way of Vista. Our carrier may not be around for us in a couple of years, and if this issue is not fully resolved by then, I can guarantee you that we will not be around for MS, either.
I am also very upset that Romanian is not supported and sometime I feel embarrassed when many of my friends ask me that want to buy WP7 but as soon as they ask me about Romanian support they will just drop the idea.
I think the best solution for this is to allow us the developers from these counties to implement our own keyboard and make it available as an app or maybe some of us will also be available to collaborate with you so this language problem can be passed as easily as possible.
How to do this you know best :)
No. 1 in the Persian language, new ideas are Windows Phone
Persian language is the twenty-third
First Rank Idea
When will Khmer Unicode/font support in windows phone? I just updated my phone to mango version, but it can't still show or read Khmer language in internet browser or anything else.
Special thanks for Finnish language support!
Local search results, voice-to-text and voice-to-dial also other languages?
Hello. I live in Azerbaijan. I DO NOT want windows phone to support my language. I only want to use marketplace, maps and etc. in my country in ENGLISH. Wen it will be possible?
hopeless ! persian keyboard is not here in Mango !
in Final version did Mango get Ukrainian Language pack?
It is good to hear from you that finally you underestood where the problem is for (Arabic) text render & trying to resolve it.
Honestly I have to say that I can help you to add Persian (& Arabic) Keyboard to windows phone but I'm not sure that it is welcome in your company or not.
please let me know that how can I help you resolving Persian (Arabic) text rendering & keyboard. I'm currently working on Iranian Font Standardization project which is managed by the standard organization & want to help
I'm also interest to help add RTL functionality to windows phone
I hope Philippines will be included in the Marketplace roll-out soon.
I want to use marketplace in turkey. And I am using Samsung sgh-i917. Charging is really boring.. It takes 8 hour from USB. And 3 hour from
Hallo again I am new to this community but the reason I am writing this comment is that I have recently bought brand new Windows Phone 7. as u sad there are new features regarding mango version which include new languages. I am from Georgia and I can not read Utf-8 encoded characters while I brows web. I can not even read messages sent to me in Georgian language. instead of characters all I see is squares. there is an official Georgian language support in windows 7 which is out of the box support of this language. I would like to ask u if it is possible to include this language in mango version as well? and what is needed to implement language support in phone OS? Georgian Unicode font uses Sylfaen.ttf please let me know if u can answer my question.
Dear Microsoft and all the developers... I know I'm going to sound very childish and possesive now, but nevertheless... There is a growing number of wp7 users in Croatia... Myself included (only recently)... Before I even got the phone I read and saw everything there is on Windows Phone and the upcoming Mango update. I must say it would be GREAT to see Croatian keyboard in Mango... here's why: you are already adding Czech keyboard, right? Well, Croatian language is only TWO special characters away!!! What's even better, Czech language uses more special characters than Croatian! But Ž, Š, and Č we have in common... Croatian only needs Ć and Đ and there you are, one more language supported! :D Trust me, it is very frustrating when you are writing, for example, and application for a job on your phone (it is urgent etc etc) and you can't use diacritis in Croatian! It's same is if you have to use "v" instead od "w" in English! So please, before official Mango update rolls out, PLEASE add those two characters and you'll make a lot of Croatians happy! :D Thanks!
I think it is über fail that we are not able to install the new display languages on our phones.
If the problem is memory issues, then let us be able to download additional languages and remove existing ones from the phone (like in windows). I don't need german, spanish or italian on my phone anyways.
That's how Google.co.il and other websites looks in Hebrew (Mango beta 2)
picture : http://goo.gl/1vtvA
"...all these input languages are available on any Windows Phone, regardless of which display languages come with it."
I expect you to keep this promise. It would be pure stupidity if I couldn't have whatever keyboard I want, like other mobile OS's do.
I wish that I could download display language at will, but we can't have everything.
This is a Sad day! No Voice Search in CANADA! No voice to text in CANADA???
Do we sound all that different then you guys just south of the border??? I speak english just like you!
Ive been saying this again and again since launch! FIX IT! make a product equal in canada to that of usa. its just a border line that crosses b.w us! I am quite unhappy from reading this article. Enough that when it comes to a new phone i may make the switch to google!
Don't know if it's been done yet, but can WP7 or Zune devices display the proper characters of music tagged in a different language (like Japanese showing up on an English device) yet? Or do the titles still show up as blocks?
@john - i wanted my first smartphone to be running Microsoft 7 but now i must go with Android who fully supports Romania, i mean why buy a smartphone which you can`t fully use? it is like buying a car with no wheel.
also it`s ironic that a romanian team of students was one of the winners few days ago of a microsoft contest "Microsoft Imagine Cup 2011" and part of the prize is a MICROSOFT 7 PHONE (in september) LOL
Pls support maps for INDIA.....wen will this be???
The issue in the following Microsoft Answers forum has been happening to me quite a bit now. Can you give any insight into whether this is being addressed?
Could this also workd for UTF-8 ?
I'm so glad to hear that simplified Chinese is coming. I've been waiting for this for a while, and I've pretty much downloaded every Chinese writing app I could find to write, copy, then paste into a document. Look forward to receiving the update. Thanks for the post.
Any plans to support Vietnamese in the future? Is it considered a complex script?
I have been testing Mango Beta 2 text to speech feature.
I live in Texas and I have some contacts that I communicate in English to and others in Spanish.
Unfortunately when a Spanish contact sends me a message the text is read in English pronouncations and it will not understand my reply if I reply in Spanish.
Therefore it seems that best solution would be to allow you to assign a preffered speech language to each of your contacts and therefore when you recieve a message it will be spoken in that langauge and also your response will be interpreted using that languages dictionary.
Or an even better but more complicated solution would be to infer the language from the context of the text or spoken reply.
Also please please please tell Tmobile they need to allow at a mininum a Spanish and an English keyboard. I might not even switch off of the beta build if Mango is released to the HD7 without a spanish keyboard.
I've really enjoyed reading your responses. I've learned a lot. Thank you.
@jalf and others -- In Mango, we made a decision to concentrate on those markets where we could create an App Marketplace quickly using existing Microsoft resources. In particular, XBox already had much of what we needed to build Marketplace in many (but not all) countries. For expediency, we used that in Mango to speed support for those markets. That's one reason why languages with fewer speakers are sometimes supported before those more speakers.
We will support many more languages and markets (we're hard at work now on this), but those additional markets will require a bit more work.
@ScubaDog2011 - they are selling XBOX360 for years but don`t even think about giving access to marketplace
this is not about them not beeing able to do it, they DON`T WANT to do it
we have a Nokia factory and a Microsoft support/development center in Romania but we can`t access themarketplace
then they say why you pirate things? well if you won` let me buy it DOH
there is no reason to support hungarian, czech or norwegian and not romanian
Sad to see as Indian MVP that there is no clear news on Indic and its almost more than a year now, people here still waiting for Marketplace, India being largest IT Hub and big population for Mobile wonder why there is no Indic Support on Windows Phone 7 which was there in Windows Mobile 6.x, I have raised this concern over here :
Well, FINE. I suppose you people would just rather that Microsoft had held off on releasing WP7 at all until every last one of the languages, features, what have you, were cooked into the OS and the Marketplace and that every OEM had been put under Microsoft's thumb, towing their line. Well, folks, you'd still be waiting. And many of you would be whining about "why is Microsoft taking so long to release WP7?". Well, if that's the case, then simply SAY that.
I just hope you plan to allow changing "country" for the primary Windows Live account on the Marketplace. Don't want to change my Live account just to be able to buy apps.
so you put the very small countries like Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Hungarian in there but no Romanian?
what is your problem wiht us, you hate our language and our money?
Romania is a member of EU just like Hungary and Czech Republik and in size like those 2 together
you sir are lame
@BuckeyeTico - Thank you. I've been saying the same thing for months now. I'm sick of hearing "Well iPhone and Android didn't have [insert feature] at launch" as some kind of legitimate justification. Right, iPhone lacked a LOT at launch - IN *2007*. It's not 2007 anymore. There was no excuse for Microsoft to release a product in late 2010 (Q1 FY11!) that lacked functions available to iPhone in 2008 & 2009 and Android in 2009, early 2010. Even running Mango Beta 2 I can find several areas were WP7 lags behind iOS4 and Android 2.3.3 - and both of those are going to have updates this year, or early next year, as well. Comparing the features of a 2011 device to the features of a first 2007 or 2008 device is foolish.
On the topic of localization, the amount of surprise over the poor localization, even with Mango is, well, surprising. C'mon folks, go look at Xbox Live Marketplace! Worldwide, Microsoft has 54.5 million Xbox 360 units sold and XBL Marketplace is STILL U.S.-centric with the international marketplaces paling in comparison. Contests almost always get limited to U.S. only, even excluding Canada and Mexico in North America, and games get blocked out by region. How long has XBL Marketplace been around? Since 2005 - and they still can't get international localization right! Given their track record with international service offerings, I can't be surprised they can't get WP7 international localization right.
@BuckeyeTico,completely agree with your last point.doesn't matter what iOS or android had and did when they started,its all about what WP can do today,or cannot do which other platforms can do.
what was more interesting is that WP sells at the same price if not more than other better productive platforms.WP is beautifull and has a great performance,but is the least productive platform currently
Please support marketplace and xbox live in Middle East in the future!
Arabic, Arabic, Arabic! please let us know when to expect this "complex script" to be available for our phones? small update soon after Mango? in another big update? in the next year's new WP7 version? any tip would be helpful :)
Huge part of WP7 users are from the Middle East
Hi John, it is good to read that Mango will enhance language support. But some languages may never get support and even if those languages get this support, it will be an overkill. In my case, I am happy to use English as default language but at the same time would like to and respond to my email in Punjabi language and yes, read web pages in Punjabi. This is not a big ask.
Comparatively speaking, iPhone gives you this facility to read in any language and a schoolboy hobby developer has provided for a Punjabi keyboard as an app. Flick between two keyboards as and when you want. How difficult is that? Even some small Nokia feature phones that I have used in the past had had standard Unicode font installed and they provided me with the facility of at least reading mail and messages in Punjabi even if there was no support for replying in the same language. I hope to see WP7 capable of this very soon. Cheers
Why not in Romanian? Is there a plan to expand this languages? Nokia phones are produced 60 km from where I live, and since they will have Windows Phone installed, it is okward that they wont have Romanian menu :)
I will bet with you that translating WP7 to new language would take group of five people one week or less. Too bad that my language (Czech) is coming. And I hope that you launch Zune service here ASAP, too. Just as Bing search (works fine with settings set to other countries) and similar.
OMG!! Come on guys!! Are we going to play this game? Whatever iPhone and Android lacked of at launch doesn’t matter. What matters is what WP7 is lacking of now! It’s like comparing apples to mangoes, how can we expect WP7 to have the same issues iOS and Android had when they first were released? It’s like expecting my new 46” Vizio LED HDTV to broadcast in black & white and to not include a remote control (among other limitations)… Just because my grandfather’s GE or RCA sets were so primitive that they could barely watch Mr. Ed on it. MS was expected (yes, at least by me) to launch a mobile platform that at least was comparable to what the competition “currently” has in the market. If that wasn’t the case, then why in the heck you want to compete for a market share if your product only matches what the competition used to have 5 years ago? For God’ sake, even my 7 y/o son can comprehend this principle…
Why does Windows Phone Mango not have thai language?
When Thai language will support?
Thank you for your response, very much appreciated! While I feel like this should have been the case for the start, this is definitely the right approach to take. Cheers, and congrats on all the great work in Mango!
@ScubaDog2011 - I can understand a lot of things in WP7 needs to be built from scratch, but please - it's not some startup that's making every single bit of code from the ground up. Not to mention - Maps are completely different service, Zune, mrktplace and Xbox too, hell even TellMe. is outside service! All of these are disconnected from WP7 as os, so what's taking them so long to make it work? Not to mention MSFT has more employees than Goog and aapl combined!
Persian language problem
How long did it take iOS or Android to have all the languages -- and do they actually HAVE all the languages? I'll be very surprised if they had them at launch or even shortly after.
John has done a great job in trying to provide an improved language support. For windows phone 7 it is a great achievement that bing search language support has been added. Unfortunately, Bing on windows 7 is still half as functional because full language support is not provided for all of its functions. Voice to text and voice search are yet again not provided, which makes it a tough sell for the international market.
I am sincerely looking forward to a further action list for the voice search and recognition capabilities in other languages, preferebly from my perpective, of the Dutch language.
So, John, you are again silent on why is Microsoft incapable of offering services in many countries where thousands of other companies, including Apple, regularly do so. Takes you 6 years for Marketplace? Is that a joke? - You may introduce Microsoft tech allowing for piracy and forcing it with unavailability, but alternative solutions are catching up and are viable choices. Ignoring markets and especially developers that push Microsoft in such markets is counterproductive. Silence as a PR fail, just proves your inability to correctly plan confirming your ignorance and lowering the level of trust companies can invest in Microsoft. - What is the purpose of Microsoft company in Croatia if you keep them in the dark too? To sell Windows? Not many care about Windows vulgaris as much as developers care about progressive technologies and emerging markets like Windows Phones, tablets and desktops on Windows 8 and Azure cloud or Office 365. - Without smartphone and tablet market you're cutting a large market from the hands of local Microsoft ecosystem developers and forcing many (especially promising startups) to seek alternatives with Apple and iOS as proprietary, but fully accessible company and solution or Google and Android as a free one.
and if you're too lazy to put resources into localizing something, give me the English features. My phone is running on English anyway because the german translation is so bad.
Oh is this serious? The font for simplified Chinese (Dengxian) is so ugly!!!!!!
why doesn't Microsoft just take "Microsoft Yahei" (the same font used in simplified Chinese Windows 7) for Mango?? It is so much better
great point - fully agree. Even more, forget giving operators ANY control over the language. . . As you rightly said, you can live in ANY country and speak ANY language you please. It shouldn't be up to Microsoft or, worse yet, the phone operator to make that decision.
Please add Lithuanian language support and Lithuania marketplace support :) All fans of WP7 are waiting for this, please.
There are new 16 great languages in the list, but you wrote 17. What is the missing one ?
you wrote: In Mango, we’re adding 17 more: 1-Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese (2-simplified and 3-traditional), 4-Czech, 5-Danish, 6-Dutch, 7-Finnish, 8-Greek, 9-Hungarian, 10-Japanese, 11-Korean, 12-Norwegian (Bokmål), 13-Polish, 14-Portuguese, 15-Russian, and 16-Swedish.
Thanks for this post, it's a great first step BUT it is also too generic and confusing for the feature availablity. For example it says “Maps” are supported in 19 countries, but what does that mean? Does that mean only those 19 countries will see the Maps app on their phone? I doubt it. Does it mean that only those 19 countries will get Turn By Turn Navigation? More likely, but the post doesn’t specifically say that. Same with “Local Search Results”. Does that mean only the Local Search Pivot in results, does that mean only Local Scout or does it mean both?
If you could clarify that, that would be great!
Also what about other Bing features such as: Bing Quick Cards, Bing Traffic, Bing Vision & Bing Audio?
"Extending services such as Marketplace or Xbox LIVE to more markets"
I find it amazing (and somewhat sad) that Microsoft finds this so difficult. Countless much smaller companies are able to make their services available worldwide. But for Microsoft, making *anything* available outside the US takes years.
It seems to be a matter of priorities. The legal and technical issues have been solved before, by many others (in much less time than it takes Microsoft to do so). The organizational ones? Well, those are your own fault, and not much of an excuse.
Perhaps part of the problem is the stupid and pointless insistence on coupling availability with localization. The dumb belief that "if we can't offer a localized and translated version, we shouldn't make the service available *at all*.
Playing Hard To Get? You may be a beauty queen on the outside, but there are more attractive and AVAILABLE platforms out there. Need I say more?
How frigging hard is to add keyboard with this šđčćžŠĐČĆŽ (Croatian) letters? Cmmon ppl, task which hardly takes a minute? WP7 allready can correctly read, copy and paste those letters!
@John-McConnell: Will you please give proper explanation?
I hope that my HD7 will support Polish as an input language. So far this device supports only English....
@inteller. Still no voting system on this blog... but you would get a big + for your post.
Letting OEM decide what language you will get. The result: In the Netherlands you will get a new phone which is in dutch language and not capable of showing any sign language like chinese, korean, thai and japanese.
Does anyone ever hear about foreign people living in countries who at least would like to have english or spanish as language (I am sure in the US there are many people too who prefer another language)
Have a look here www.simplyamsterdam.nl/.../Amsterdam_again_city_with_the_most_nationalities_177_in_the_world.htm
Then you can imagine that letting the OEM or carrier decide what the phone language will be, is a BAD decision. You (Microsoft) should force OEM / carriers to support at least 5 or 6 main languages and if they want, have them add some additional languages.
For Dutch market that could be e.g. English, German, French, Spanish (forced by Microsoft) Dutch (added by OEM)
Ah. Interesting. Malaysian...
How are we suppose to get these languages set? Do we get to choose which we want to install or it will all be delivered in Mango?
Now what's dragging the Zune from Malaysia? Even our very close neighboring country is getting it.
Why are Voice-to-text, Voice-to-dial, and Voice search unavailable in Canada? What's so different about Canada and the US that this can't be supported up here? Voice search already works in WP7, so does this mean you're actually *removing* features in Mango?
It's really hard for me to push the platform to family and friends when I talk about a cool new feature coming and then later have to explain that it's not available in Canada without at least being able to explain why.
I don't want to come across as an Apple supporter, ‘cause I'm not one! I truly like the Windows Phone platform and I am actually a Microsoft supporter. Nevertheless, please allow me to point a reasoning fault in your argument: if I developed a new car brand (may it even be electric), but it didn't have power steering, A/C or heating for that matter (if you live in Norway) nor electric windows, do you think ANYONE would buy it merely because I'm new on the market? :) I know that the iPhone was not a complete solution (heck, it's still lacking features today and its strength, if any, is the sheer user and developer adoption) but Microsoft doesn’t have to repeat the same mistakes others have made; I’m sure that’s the last thing the WP7 team wants to do.
As @bitterfit and Arman point out, people DO move around these days. Even if Microsoft doesn’t care about the Georgian, Bulgarian or Romanian markets (although I’d argue they are comparable to the Hungarian, Belgian or Irish markets in size and tech adoption rate), they should at least acknowledge and RESPECT that there are users who at least want to be able to type in those languages, regardless of where they live.
I'll join Arman's plea for some consideration from the WP7 team. . .
Why does Voice-to-text and Voice-to-dial is country specific!! I am in India and India in not in the list!! It should have been language specific!! This sucks if its not gonna work in India.
No support for for Indian languages like Kannada, Hindi, Tamil etc? That's not good. At least in IE mobile when you open pages in these languages it should display properly.
Regarding IME and interface in different languages why microsoft can't provide an interface/API where developers can generate Language packages and provide at reasonable fee or free?
Why you are limiting voice features only for 6 countries? At least enable it Globally and mention you can use any one of these pronunciations. Let user decide it.
So if the OEM manufacturer don't give us other display options, I still can have all keyboard options?
WP7 Mango in Bulgaria:
I cannot buy applications. No marketplace.
I cannot buy music. No zune.
I cannot develop. No apphub.
Music - no problem
Development - sure
The stupidest part:
Open IE in WP7.
Go to Amazon.
I can buy whatever I want including music.
How can Amazon and Apple do this 'legal' stuff and you cannot?
Hey WP Team, why is so difficult to add support for all modern languages?
For example, iPhone from long time ago support has almost all the languages including the one for which I am writing this “Georgian”
I understand that language support comes from to supporting the market, but you must understand that people living or working in countries where Windows Phone officially supported can receive emails (or viewing the web) in the language that does not support on Windows Phone.
Especially since many international companies use Windows Phone as a corporate phone, plus the fact that with the release version Mango with has support ActiveSync version 14.1 phone will be more demanded in the corporate market, and where corporate support is there is multilingual support!
If you had a Windows Mobile, font problem could be solved simply adding Font, that’s all. But in Windows Phone language support is totally different, there is no way to add custom font to support it in native email client or browse the web.
Please reconsider your strategy and add the remaining languages, including Georgian, at least you needs to be add is ability to read and type the text as it has long been supported on the iPhone and is very insulting that iPhone support it and Windows Phone not.
The comparison to the Iphone is shallow, it didn't even have an app store at launch, anywhere. Not proper email, not video recording. They did the same thing as Microsoft, they waited until they could do it right. Them doing all the kayboards at once would be foolish, they obviously have reasons.
Did something slip, or is Norway not gonna get Maps? I mean, I have tried, and Maps work on a Windows Phone in Norway (although with English set as language).
Loved the attention to detail in this post, keep it that way going forward! :)
SERIOUSLY MICROSOFT?! I'm a big fan of Windows Phone 7 and have literally been enduring hell on a blackberry for months waiting for Windows Phone 7 to come. I got my hands on an HTC Arrive only to find a half-baked product. Still exciting to use and excited to have it. I use 4 languages on a daily basis (I agree, I may not be the most representative user) and while I sympathize with those dissapointed not to have the UI entirely available in their own language, I am ANGRY to read that there still are keyboards that aren't supported, such as Romanian.
What kind of excuse can there be to keep the WP7 team from including AT LEAST AS MANY languages as the iPhone has on their iOS4, with or even WITHOUT predictive text input? Space on the device? Smoke and mirrors - let's grow up from that argument. Make it available via an add/on or selective keyboard language install when you activate the phone, like Blackberry does.
Furthermore, this entire aliance with the carriers is just plain LAME. If Microsoft lacks the balls to drive features and functionality according to user demand and prefers to suck up on carriers, then I'll not be a customer. I fork out a full retail price for an unlocked device simply because I HATE carriers and their sly plans to lock me down to service for years and limit my freedom to travel internationally and just pick up a local SIM card to enjoy calls and data at a fraction of their greedy roaming prices. If Microsoft wants to be a big AT&T, I'll just be an Apple customer: at least I know I get screwed, but I get a device that WORKS.
Just like a fellow poster below noted, the US is the melting pot of the world. This means the WP7 team should at least BOTHER to add keyboard support for as many languages as possible, if predictive text input and, heaven's forbit, full UI customization, is too much to ask at this point. For a platform that has sales plunging, this type of attitude won't do you much good Microsoft, and I truly regret to see bad management and poor implementation ruin an otherwise excellent platform. I guess Balmer is right when he has a cow here and there after all. . .
Fantastic work guys .. more international support is always good news
Thanks for the great feedback--I really appreciate it and it is very useful. A few people commented that they don't see all the available input languages on their WP7 phones. That's correct. We've changed the design from WP7 to Mango. In WP7, the input languages were part of the language pack. You could use the input language if and only if the MO had installed that UI language. In Mango, the input languages (all of them) are in the base, independent of what language packs are installed.
After stumbling out of the blocks quite a bit, the quality of the communications from the Windows Phone 7 team has been steadily improving. Keep up the good work. Language service isn't an issue for me, but that was very informative. Given all the abuse that was heaped on about transparency about updates, I think it's only fair to applaud when the communications are headed in the right direction.
My faith in Microsoft rests on whether or not I will be able to access music and podcasts via Zune. It's been almost 5 years since the Zune started and still the media content is fractured across the world.
I simply don't understand why Microsoft are struggling with this. Apple have it. In iTunes I can buy any music (or video) I want to. But iTunes is horrible. I don't care about Zune Pass, I just want to buy music and download podcasts without having to get a link from a 3rd party or change my Windows location settings.
On the other hand, I am using Mango and it is awesome. The browser is the first mobile browser I've used that isn't pure frustration. The new Xbox hub is sweet. The performance is just that little bit snappier in most areas. Threaded email works great. The Live Messenger/Facebook integration into the messaging app is one of those things that the other platforms don't come close to having, and I am proud to show it off.
Great news... But we wait Bing extended services in Brazil, unfortunately, we need to switch to Google over Bing in Brazil. I don't understand why Microsoft ignore our search market. =(
You have Navteqs excellent maps now, and these support Poland. Bing already has street names, at some point I was even able to find addresses (tho only through proper algorithm) in web browser so why on earth would you not include us in maps? Not to mention Voice? It took Google what, 2 years to bring services like these here, and they were starting from scratch. You had WinMo, all the services like Bing and Voice are being developed for a long time now, and it's still nowhere near worldwide roll out. How is this possible for company with almost 4 times more employees and more than 2 times bigger profit?
And don't get me wrong - I love my WP7. I like what you're doing with Mango. This is why it's so hard for me to understand why is everything taking so long for you.
Still, it is really a very bad decision you made on development tools and support for Windows Phone and Azure. Let alone payed services, but WP7 development should have been fully allowed and accessible worldwide with AppHub access. Apple has not only managed to be available in most of the world for years now, but also has tools available to many, many more. Stories about "hassle with legal and technical issues" are just funny and a smoke screen, since thousands of companies sell their products and services worldwide. With the amount of cash flow, Microsoft should have (at least) had developer programs available in countries where it has fully working local companies and sales, like in Croatia. - To be able to legally buy Windows & Visual Studio, have MSDN account, but not have AppHub account and access to a full range of essential tools (like Mango beta) etc. is just not acceptable. - If you don't aim to get cut down in market share, you should stop closing doors for developers (who are what keeps you in the game) and go the open route like you did before. - As a system architect, developer and a user I can't suggest or enforce Microsoft ecosystem anymore, since I never know when a tool will be deprecated, future silent or when and if at all something will be accessible. - You've probably heard stories about Windows Phone 7 devices being suggested against in retail stores even - it's reasons are in your support and PR about tech (WPF, SL,...). - E.g. Xbox can be bought in Croatia for years now, and in 6 years you haven't been able to open a Marketplace here? - Sure.- I presume all the new MSFT tech like Office365, Azure and WP7 will take 6 more years or more. - When one has to choose tech and directions for a green-field project, it's very hard and looks like insanity to suggest a company that does what Microsoft does (or does not, actually) lately.
I'm glad to hear that this will be enhanced in the future. I would like to see though, the option to download and install new language packs from the Zune Marketplace, and even build my own such language packs as a developer, and sell those in the Marketplace.
"The Zune Marketplace for music, video, and podcasts is also expanding to more markets. We’re not quite ready to announce specifics just yet—expect to hear more later this summer."
So - Zune Pass announcements for outside the US in <6 weeks!!!!! Woot! Please let Zune Pass for music be coming to AUS :D
Simple Chinese Bug:
I found 2 bugs in Mango beta 7661, I’m not sure if they’re known issues. (It’s also in beta2 emulator)
1. Zune player plays incorrect song
a) Launch Zune
b) Select Music
c) Select one artist with several songs
d) Slide right to Songs (Don’t select Album)
e) Select one song
f) You’ll find it plays one song but it’s not the one you selected.
2. IE9 works incorrect with Chinese IME in <textarea/> element
a) Open a page with text input
b) The textarea would lose focusing after select one word from list and the keyboard is still there.
c) If backspace is clicked at this moment, the browser would back to the previous page.
d) Sometimes if you continue inputing, the input text would be appear in HTML after textarea
1. Cannot type Chinese character “囧”, I guess the Chinese character database is using GB2312, NOT the GBK
2. Cannot support the separate punctuation ‘, like “Xi’An”
3. Cannot auto-correction if you are using 26 keyboard mode to type:
Ie: type “nihai” can recognize as “nihao” and prompt the candidate word “你好”
When do we get Dvorak keyboard layout?
Well, in Argentina we have to wait for wp7 yet!!! They sold wp7 phones, but Zune (marketplace) IT NOT ENABLED HERE!!! I don´t understand Microsoft That´s why Android etc.........
In the US, the melting pot of the world, the phone should ship with every language. Step up and be a leader with this.
You should NOT leave IME up to phone carriers. Your competitors are schooling you on language support. The fruit phone supports LOTS of languages in ANY country. STOP putting design decisions in the hands of the stupid carriers who are only driven by greed and not what the user wants. The third most spoken language in the US is Chinese (look it up) yet to date NO windows device (6.x 7.x) has been shipped here with Chinese IME. You support UNICODE for -displaying- East asian character sets, but you must provide IMEs too! And please, spare me the excuse about them taking up space. This tired argument was used with the Zune devices and it didn't hold water then. Fact is your competitors support multiple languages with ease. This is not something that comes with iterative versions, there are competitor devices that were doing this with version 1 of their devices.
Thanks for sharing the language plans and the actual updates in Mango!
We don't need damn keyboard support, we need fully supported Turkish Windows Phone