Sorting it all Out Michael Kaplan's random stuff of dubious value Be sure to read the disclaimer here first!
This is not a How-To column about relationships or getting satisfaction in them; if it were, both this blog and this Blog would be very differently aimed! I probably could have made the title When terminology affects satisfaction [in a non-linguist] to help here, as well...
Something I hinted at yesterday for a future blog in the blog titled My aren't we looking quite Bosnianesque?, and today is some very fast turnaround. :-)
There are many times that the words used to make up terms in computer terminology are not all used in a way that is consistent with other related bits of computer terminology.
I'll give you my example, which will be the subject of this blog.
Now let's look at three terms used in Windows:
USER INTERFACE LANGUAGE (UI LANGAUGE)
This is the term used to refer to the language you can expect to find Windows 7 itself in, in part or in full (when it is in part then some particular fallback language or languages may be what Windows will be in when it is not in that other language). Both 32-bit and 64-bit Windows has every one of these languages available to it.
LANGUAGE PACK (LP)
This is the term used to describe the full, high, and medium localizations that are done for Windows 7, which be installed on either a Windows Ultimate or a Windows Enterprise SKU. This install can either be done online via Windows Update or provided via disc or via an image created by an OEM or a company. They are all fully available for both 32-bit and 64-bit Windows 7.
LANGUAGE INTERFACE PACK (LIP)
This is the term used to describe the partial localizations done of the top-level user interface in Windows. They are freely downloadable. Until recently all were available in 32-bit form and only thirteen of them were available in 64-bit form (as mentionmed in Thirteen (13) can be a lucky number),. but a recent policy change has been made that will make all of them available in both 32-bit and 64-bit Windows 7 (as mentioned in Reporting on 64 bits of awesomesauce).
Now clearly the word Language in all three terms is referring to the same thing.
And the first term is a configuration option that can be chosen among any installed language from the list made up of any language in the second term or the third term.
So they are all about language.
And they are all about the user interface.
This makes the differences between the second term and the third term (differences that can have marked impact on both the available options and the cost of the product) something that is in no way intuitive. It is only by knowing these definitions that one can know which is which and what the rules are.
You can look at the comments of a recent blog by Stephen L. Rose titled Windows 7 Language Packs to see the potential, theoretical confusion I refer to, in real and vivid example. With people getting c onfused about the difference, and upset once they "lose" a feature they didn't have in the first place....
This is a confusion that can lead to very dissatisfied customers if they think after reading this description or any other expecting that one of the languages in the LP category will be free or widely available to them. Since it won't be or may not be.
Perhaps they will understand. But they will not be happy.
Not nearly as much so if they did not hear a different message prior to the eventual realization. Realistic expectations could significantly reduce the NSAT in such scenarios.
If you ask me, new terms would be a very good idea here, terms that gave a better intuitive sense of the differences in regard availability, localization coverage, and cost.
Though [channeling my inner Dennis Miller!] that is just my opinion, I could be wrong....
Perhaps you have a different opinion?
What are the main differences between a LIP and LP?
1. percentage of localization
What I would do? I would kill 2. completely (especially the requirement to install on Pro or Ultimate only).
I would offer them as:
- Partial Language Pack, with the localized percentage similar to the current LIPs, free, installable on all flavors of the OS.
- Complete Language Pack, with the localized percentage similar to the current LP, for a decent price, installable on all flavors of the OS.
What would be a "decent price"?
Office 2010 offers language packs for $25, with the Office Pro $500, Home and Student $150, Windows 7 Pro is $300, Home Premium is $120.
So a $15-20 price for the Complete Language Pack would be the sweet spot.
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This whole business is silly. I don't mean to be insulting to someone who writes such a fine blog, but frankly speaking, I feel like you are too deep inside the Microsoftsphere to see this issue clearly. Both of your Distinguished Competitors (Linux and Apple) offer additional languages for their operating systems and applications at no additional cost. But Microsoft does not. Why? This is sheer nickel-and-dime-ery. It's a penny wise and a pound foolish. Yes, it is true that Microsoft offers a much broader array of localizations than its competitors but that does not change the core value proposition. Why should consumers have to pay more to get an LP but not an LIP? It's madness, utter madness. I understand that you are not in charge of the business decisions behind this pricing scheme, but I believe that you should be more aware of how utterly irrational this scheme is. There is no reason to charge a user for switching the language of a product. It antagonizes users needlessly in exchange for an utterly trivial stream of revenue. It is a ridiculous practice and the sooner Microsoft halts it, the better. There is no reason for end users to have to be aware of the three part distinction this post is founded on. At best, maybe they can be told that sometimes there aren't enough resources to do a full localization, so a partial localization (LIP) will have to suffice. But beyond that, the whole business is asinine.
You may remember my blog If you can't read it, then that freaking list clearly doesn't have you in mind
A long time ago, I started a series, with two parts: How many ways can a developer say 'File Not Found