Microsoft has unfolded its plan to add Urdu as a language option to its language directory in Windows 8, which is already multilingual and supports more than 14+ languages including all major ones. The language is slated to become a part of Windows 8’s language options by the end of 2013. The decision has been welcomed by many Urdu speakers as a New Year gift across Pakistan as well as other Islamic nations.
Now the question arises ‘what makes Microsoft do this?’ Sherif Morsi, Microsoft’s Business Group Lead Pakistan answers the question in his own style. Here are the excerpts from his interview with The News Tribe: “Pakistan is as important to Microsoft as any other market in the world. There are huge opportunities in Pakistan for many reasons. There’s a huge population, huge developer community. Pakistan is also big in terms of PC shipments which present us with a huge opportunity with current installed base”.
When asked about Urdu’s target for Pakistani developers in addition to customers, Sherif Morsi said “Pakistani developers are highly talented and we seek to engage with them with our softwares. Pakistani developers can build and develop apps for Windows 8. We have marketplace in Pakistan. We have Pakistani developers publishing apps for the Pakistani market. We are expecting 100s of Pakistani relevant apps coming in the market and here we are after quality not quantity as a lot of apps have been rejected due to poor quality. The Microsoft representative also highlighted GMaps, which has been developed by a Pakistani software developer and has the highest no. of downloads in the Middle East & Africa region.
From the Microsoft’s representative it comes out clear that Microsoft is not holding competition with Apple whose Mac OS X supports 22+ native languages to serve miscellaneous lingo needs of different speakers and linguists across the world. Well, I would shout out “Good job Microsoft”. It sounds really good that Microsoft is focusing more on the core capability of Windows 8 to make it able to interpret in the language a user is inherited with (or rather inborn with) by the virtue of his parents (please do not make a fuss about cross nationality here).
Microsoft in fact also made way for third-party language packs for installation on Windows 8 in February 2012 (on 21st February to mark the celebration of International Mother Language Day) so as to make customers work and play in their native languages and not just the customary, pre-loaded U.S. or U.K. English for that matter. Microsoft really seems to be going extra miles for making Windows 8 a better (oops! the best) operating system for customers across all genres, ages, and communities. Adding Urdu as a language option to Windows 8 is one of these miles that Microsoft is going to achieve once the language will out.