Beware of Microsoft Windows Single Language version

My wife bought a new PC, and it came with Windows 8. Neither the catalogue nor the salespeople said the version was Microsoft Windows Single Language version.

Anyway, who would think such a thing in Malaysia. This is a multi-lingual country. The Malays (who use computers) speak Bahasa (the national language) and English, The Chinese speak one or more Chinese languages, Bahasa and English, and the Indians probably Tamil, and Bahasa and English.

So who would be so silly as to decide to sell an operating system that can only operate in one language in this country? Microsoft and the computer manufacturers, apparently. And it’s not only Malaysia. Complaints from various countries around the world can be found on the Internet.

We’re not Malaysian, but are multi-lingual too. So, part of setting up the PC at home is to add in the appropriate languages.

The first thing you find is that you cannot add in the IME (input method editor) for the language you want to add. Then you wonder why and check the Internet. And you hear of this Windows Single Language version. The you check your PC and find, indeed, that this is the operating system installed.

So, what can you do? You simply upgrade from this version to ordinary Windows 8, where you can add an IME? No. You can upgrade from Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7, but not Windows 8. You have to buy the full version on a DVD. If you do a fresh install you will lose all the drivers for the laptop, and have to spend a lot of time trying to get the various functions and features working – if you ever can.

Another Internet search found Google Japanese Input; Google Chinese Input etc. Install the one(s) you want and you can bypass Microsoft’s stupidity.

Google 1; Microsoft 0; Manufacturer 0

If you just want to type in accents for European languages, then you can use: There you can find virtual keyboards for various languages.



    1. Apart from the solutions I mentioned in the blog, just find a computer where you can buy the full version of Windows. Dell, presumably, would be one.

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