Microsoft has decided to translate their new operating system, Windows 7 into 10 African languages. Some have wondered the reasoning behind this as they currently only provide this system in English and French. Microsoft responded with wanting to increase overall usage, more use of local languages online and also to fight software piracy.
This is set to finish rolling out by 2011 including languages like Sesotho sa Leboa, Setswana, isiXhosa, isiZulu, Afrikaans, Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, kiSwahili and Amharic.
Many in Africa are considered illiterate because they do not understand technology in the English and French language, while they are great readers and writers in their native language. They are hoping that with more availability in local languages, it will lead to greater inclusion. Then they would be better able to express themselves in the form of blogs, emails and websites.
Currently, African language letters, accents and editing functions are not included in most products, making it difficult for people to use their language online. Microsoft is hoping to change this with the increase of content.
Language is power and it can unite countries and people from all over. Microsoft plans to lead us into 2011 in a new direction with localization.
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