As part of my role in Microsoft I have some responsibilities and discussion with our teams in India, and just read this really interesting article by Shilpa Kannan from the BBC.

Is language the key to hooking India on the web?

In it she raises some really interesting facts and insights..

“With over 30 major languages and 1500 dialects, India is a unique market.”

“It already has the third largest internet user base in the world after China and the US…120 million internet users in the country and this number could rise to over 300 million by 2014.

“According to Yahoo India, local language users are growing at a rate of nearly 40% per year.”

But what grabbed my attention was the line

“The next phase of growth is expected to come from users who will be more comfortable with local languages”

Microsoft I know does a lot of work to make our products available in different languages such as Windows  Language packs that are available in a number of Indian languages such as (Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada and more)

With regard Windows 8 and languages (Using the language you want) it will be even easier to get the language you want and we will reach even more users (4.5 Billion in fact!!!) in there preferred local language

Microsoft will continue to be a market leader in language support with an additional 14 new display languages for Windows 8, bringing the total to 109 languages. (For reference, here are the 95 languages in which Windows 7 is currently available). With these additional languages, Windows will provide a native language version of Windows for over 4.5 billion people

Rob