“So, tonight is the big game, my team has finally made it to the finals. I feel like inviting some of my friends over to watch the game together. I fire up my email client and invite them to my place. I note down some additional items in my todo list for tonight’s gathering. At 7:00pm, the game starts, the match is tense and exciting, and... NO NOT AGAIN, a last minute header past the goalie. For the 6th time in a row, my team suffers a loss to his rival. The guys left, I head to my computer, launch my browser, search for the match’s news, the reviews are there, I read the first one, I don’t like the writers bias to the winning team, I leave a flaming comment. I head to Youtube to watch the goal again, I am sure that goal was an offside, yes! It’s true, I leave comment pointing to the exact second in the video where the offside is apparent, and annotate the video. I log in to my IM application, search for that contact who always gets on my nerves in those situations, I block him, now I am looking for someone who cheers for my team. Found, I IM her telling how miserable our team was today. She acknowledges. I log into Facebook, change my status to show sorrow, I tweet the match result and I head to my team's official forum to participate in the heated discussion”
This a real life scenario where communicating in your own language makes all the difference. Expressing your intense feelings of joy or sorrow is better served using your native tongue. Maren helps you communicate efficiently in Arabic if you lack access to an Arabic keyboard or you are not familiar with one.
The fact that Maren is usable across Windows enables a world of possibilities. It now becomes all about you and how you use it. We have heard some unusual stories of people using Maren to rename their folders to Arabic, or to type up that Arabic document that their boss urgently needs.
The above is MY story on how I use Maren, now I want to hear yours. How are you using Maren? What are your favorite scenarios? What kind of problems is Maren solving for you? Are you using it intensely in your chatting sessions or are you mainly using it to submit Arabic queries to your search engine of choice or are you doing an entirely different thing? How can we improve it to even help you more?
Program Manager @ Microsoft