The option to install different language packs in Windows 7 is only available if you run the top of the line Windows 7 editions Ultimate or Enterprise.
That's a bummer if you just bought a laptop overseas only to find out that you cannot switch the language to your native one.
Could also be a problem if you live in a multi-person household were different languages are required.
What can you do to remedy the situation? You could upgrade to Ultimate using the Windows 7 Anytime upgrade. But there is another option, one that does not cost money: Vistalizator.
The software was initially designed to provide Windows Vista users with the option to install additional language packs. It has been updated to support the Windows 7 operating system as well.
Vistalizator displays the installed languages of the operating system on startup. It displays the name of the language, the type (MUI or LIP) and the mode.
The official Microsoft Windows 7 language packs are supported by the program. The developer links to all of them from the website.
The difference between MUI and LIP language packs is the following. MUI, which stands for Multilingual User Interface Packs, offer complete translation while LIP, Language Interface Packs, only partial translation.
MUI language packs can only be installed in Ultimate or Enterprise while LIP language packs are usually available for all editions of the operating system (they do require one MUI language for the parts that are not translated).
Vistalizator basically overrides the MUI language installation protection that Microsoft added to the Windows operating system. Windows Ultimate or Enterprise users can simply download the language packs from Windows Update.
Windows users who are thinking about installing an additional language pack using Vistalizator should consider backing up their operating system first to be able to restore it if something goes wrong in the process.
The process of installing a new Windows 7 language pack is simple. All that needs to be done is to click on the Add languages button in the program's interface to select and install another MUI pack. The software supports two installation modes: internal and express.
Internal installation mode is experimental at this point. It is however the only mode that will update the full operating system. Express mode is safer as it does not overwrite system files but does not update the complete operating system with the new language. It will install faster but is not compatible with Windows Updates.
Windows users who want to give Vistalizator a try can download the application and the language packs from the developer's website. It is compatible with 32-bit and 64-bit editions of Windows Vista and Windows 7.
Vistalizator for Windows Vista and 7 is a great option when it comes to adding interface languages to the operating system. The program is dead easy to use, and if there is something missing, it is support for creating a backup before installing new languages.
It is highly recommended to create a full system backup before you use the application.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.