Planning MUI Deployments for Windows 7

Planning for Multilingual User Interface Deployments for Windows 7

To deploy the appropriate language configurations of Windows 7 and configure country/region support based on your organization's current geographic and IT infrastructure, you need to determine your language and country/region requirements, as well as your hardware requirements and limitations.

You will also need to:

  • Assess hardware requirements for multilingual support.

  • Determine the needs of roaming users in your organization.

  • Determine whether your organization will need to deploy a single global image or specific country/region builds for different offices in your organization.

Determining language and country/region requirements

If you do business in multiple languages or have multilingual office environments, you need to know which languages or dialects your organization must support and whether these languages require input method editors (IMEs) or alternative keyboards or input devices.

If you do business internationally, you need to know which countries/regions your organization must support and which languages or dialects are used in each. You must determine whether currency, time zone, or calendar formats vary between the different countries/regions. Additionally, you must determine which line-of-business applications you have that must accommodate such country/region differences.

A four-column planning table can help you determine your language and country/region needs. You can organize the table as follows:

  • In column one, list your offices or divisions.

  • In column two, list the languages or dialects used in those offices or divisions.

  • In column three, note the corresponding Windows 7 language collections and locales that support those languages or dialects. For tables listing Windows 7 language packs and settings, see Supported Language Packs and Default Settings.

  • In column four, note special standards and format settings, input language support, or default languages for non-Unicode programs required for your offices or divisions.


You can use the resulting worksheet to plan your physical deployment and complete the country/region section of your answer files.

Assessing hardware requirements for multilingual support

Supporting multiple languages can impact your hardware requirements in two areas:

  • Hard disk space. Some languages require more hard-disk storage space than others. The more languages installed on a computer, the more hard-disk space consumed.

  • Specialized hardware devices. Some languages or users require special keyboards, IMEs, or alternative input devices.


Installing a language collection enables you to view text in those languages in documents, on a Web page, and so on. However, to input text in a given language, you must also add that language as an input language.

Determining the needs of roaming users

If you have many roaming users who need to log on from different locations and edit documents in several languages, you must ensure that the appropriate language files are either installed or installable on demand on those users' computers. You can also install Remote Desktop Services so that users can sign on to unique Remote Desktop Services sessions in different languages.

If your roaming users need to log on from different locations in their native language user interface version of the operating system, you must install the appropriate language packs.

Deploying a single global image

The Windows 7 operating system enables a global organization's IT department to deploy and maintain a single global desktop image. In this way, your company can create a single build that includes user interface language support for all of the languages in which you do business. The build can also include world-ready applications such as Office 2007.

For example, if your company supports user interfaces in English, French, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, and Traditional Chinese, you can create a single global image that includes user interface support for those languages. You can support on-demand installation of additional languages after deployment by using Windows Installer packages.


Deploying and maintaining a single global image can significantly improve IT efficiency and help lower costs. It enables single code-base application development and testing, simplifies releasing hotfixes and service patches, and reduces end-user support calls.

Deploying a country/region image

You can further customize Windows 7 deployments by creating specific country/region builds tailored to each office's multilingual and international needs. For each office or site, you can create a country/region build that specifies the appropriate language version of the operating system, the default input language, and the standards and formats appropriate to that country/region.

You can also include the appropriate localized language versions of third-party applications, such as virus checking utilities, as well as other specialized drivers and applications required by that office.

For example, you might create the following four unique country/region builds for North America:

  • Two Canadian builds for the Vancouver, B.C. and Montreal offices to deploy the International English version of Windows 7, with English and French (Canada) set as the default input languages, and Canada set as the default for standards and formats. (English is the default input language in Vancouver, and French is the default input language in Montreal.)

  • A U.S. English build so that users in Seattle and other U.S. locations can install the International English version of Windows 7, with English (U.S.) set as the default input language, and optional support for the East Asian Language Collection, which includes the font files, font linking, and registry settings needed for Simplified and Traditional Chinese, Japanese, and Korean language support.

  • A Boston build that installs the U.S. English build along with optional support for the East Asian Language Collection.

The country/region build for the Tokyo office, by contrast, might install the Japanese localized language version of Windows 7 as well as the Japanese localized language versions of virus checking and accounting applications.

Using Windows 7, global organizations can take a hybrid approach. They can combine a single global core image, which contains the baseline operating system and applications, with additional country/region core images that include localized language applications, settings, and so on. The global IT department develops and maintains the global core, and individual countries/regions are responsible for building and maintaining their own country/region cores. Local offices can also add a third-tier customization core image for custom stationery or templates, printer drivers, and so on.

See Also

Other Resources

Understanding Multilingual Deployments