Microsoft only allows installation of Language Packs on Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate. It either means an upgrade or to use Language Interface Packs
Q When I used Windows XP Home edition, I installed Microsoft’s East Asian Language Pack to help with my language learning.
However, now that I have ‘upgraded’ to Windows 7 Home Premium edition it seems I can no longer do this, as the packs are only available to owners of the Professional and Ultimate versions of Windows 7. This means of course, that I can’t do language learning at home.
Have I misunderstood the position? Or is there any way round this? I have already paid for both Windows and the language course.
A You haven’t misunderstood the position – Microsoft’s Language Packs are not available for Windows 7 Home Premium. In fact, they are available only for the Ultimate and Enterprise editions (the Professional edition you cited doesn’t in fact offer a choice of languages).
However, a little confusingly, Microsoft also offers what it calls Language Interface Packs (or Lips), which can be used on any edition of Windows 7 (or Vista).
Language Packs translate everything – dialogue boxes, menu items and help content – into the chosen language. Up to 33 Language Packs can be installed at once and the user is free to flit between them.
Lips, on the other hand, translate only key dialogue boxes, menu items and help content. Moreover, they are installed in place of the existing Lip – so only one language is available at one time.
So, while it’s not ideal, you will be able to change Windows 7 Home Premium’s interface language by downloading and installing the relevant Lip (you will find the full list and download links here).
However, if you want the freedom to quickly chop and change between languages then you will have to pay extra for Windows 7 Ultimate edition (the Enterprise version, as the name suggests, is aimed at businesses) or revert to Windows XP.
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