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Microsoft’s Indic Language Tools: Why Bother?

microsoft-hindi-logoIt took well over three hours on a 256kbps connection for me to install Microsoft’s attempt at introducing its Indic language transliteration input tools to the Indian market. After the installation, for the longest time, I had no idea about how to use the Indic transliteration tools: there’s no guide or tutorial on Microsofts Indic tool download website. This this is a beta launch from Microsoft, but that’s no excuse. Two suggestions for Microsoft: Firstly, put out a tutorial on how to install, and more importantly, use after install (quick notes hidden in a Fact Sheet do not count). Secondly, make the product usable:


The Web version is supposed to work only with Internet Explorer, which, though the most popular browser in the world, isn’t the only one, and isn’t my browser-of-choice. It didn’t work with Chrone. Even with Internet Explorer, it didn’t work properly, as can be seen in the screencap on the right.

The product is supposed to offer free-form transliteration for Microsoft products and, according to the claim claim, other products as well. However, the transliteration, didn’t work for (Microsoft) Notepad, NoteTab or the Pidgin messenger.

All in all, a launch from Microsoft that is dead on arrival, based on the experience during installation, the difficulty in setting it up, and figuring out how to use the software, and actually using it. The only advantage that Microsoft could offer is that the software works offline, unlike the transliteration tools from Quillpad and Google, which we’ve covered before. Do read our extensive coverage of the Indic language space.

Makes me wonder if Microsoft expected anyone to actually try and install the product, instead of copy-pasting the press release.

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