Windows 8 to support (British) English as a display language
We are proud to announce the addition of English for the United Kingdom to the list of Windows display languages. We admit that this is something we should have done a long time ago. Windows users in the UK have gotten by with the US English version of Windows, and while we Americans knew this was not their favourite, that is clearly no defence. We believe that this version of Windows will also be widely used in India, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, the Republic of Ireland and many other places.
We are releasing English for the United Kingdom as a standalone language. Standalone languages contain all the user interface components needed to be independent versions of Windows. Standalone languages can be used by OEMs to image a PC, or can be purchased as boxed software.
The release of English for the United Kingdom is also a trial run for us. Adding a second language under an already existing primary language code—ISO 3166-2 EN—poses some engineering challenges for us (which is why this took us so long to do). We have had to pay attention to the language fallback chain, for instance. If there are no localized resources available at any time, we fall back to secondary choices and then to English. That used to be English US. But, now there’s English UK as well. Which do we fall back to? So far, planning for these scenarios is looking good.
There will also be thirteen new Language Interface Packs including one for Scottish Gaelic...
If you are currently using Windows Vista or Windows 7 Ultimate, you probably see 34 or 35 languages as optional updates in your Windows Update UI. These won’t show up there anymore in Windows 8. Instead, we’ve consolidated the languages in one place for you: Language preferences in Control Panel. Language preferences will be a clean, unified control for all Windows display languages moving forward.
We are also continuing to broaden our language support with the addition of 13 new Language Interface Packs (LIPs). Language Interface Packs install over the top of a standalone Windows display language. These lightweight packs contain localized user interface elements for the most commonly-used Windows features. The new languages offered include Punjabi (Pakistan), Sindhi (Pakistan), Central Kurdish (Iraq), Uyghur (People’s Republic of China), Belarusian (Belarus), Kinyarwanda (Rwanda), Tigrinya (Ethiopia), Tajik (Tajikistan), Wolof (Senegal), K’iche’ (Guatemala), Scottish Gaelic (United Kingdom), Cherokee (United States), Valencian (Spain).