5a. Windows

Microsoft Windows logoMicrosoft offers a multitude of resources for localisation support in both desktop and mobile environments. The Microsoft Globalization Step-by-Step Guide  is a good start for all Windows developers, it contains fairly non-technical information about the localisation process.

Microsofts .NET environment fully supports localisation and incorporates a fallback hierarchy for localisation where a default locale is defined, for example “en” for English. Consider a software with support for English, French, Modern Standard Arabic and Qatari Arabic which is opened in Qatar, then the Modern Standard Arabic resources will be loaded the default English resources thanks to the hierarchy system.

English (“en” default)
|       ��             |
Arabic (“ar”)   French (“fr”)

The language codes used by Microsoft corresponds to an older standard ISO 639-1, the latest ISO 639-3 contains many more languages and variations, for example afb in ISO 639-3 represents Gulf Arabic.

Microsoft’s guide to localization in ,NET  is a good read, Windows Phone localisation is very similar to desktop localisation, but Microsoft do provide the guide Localization best practices for Windows Phone .

A word of advise is to use the professional version of Microsoft Visual Studio for projects involving localisation as the free express version lacks a resource editor.

For MSDN and TechNET subscribers Microsoft provides a comprehensive glossary of translations.


  1. Microsoft Globalization Step-by-Step Guide, http://msdn.microsoft.com/en- us/goglobal/bb688110
  2. ISO 639-1 Code Tables����http://www-01.sil.org/iso639-3/codes.asp?order=639_1&letter=a
  3. ISO 639-3 Code Tables http://www-01.sil.org/iso639-3/codes.asp?order=639_3&letter=a
  4. NET Framework Programming in Visual Studio -��Globalizing and Localizing Applications, http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/1021kkz0(v=vs.90).aspx
  5. Localization best practices for Windows Phone, http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windowsphone/develop/ff967552(v=vs.105).aspx
  6. Microsoft Terminology Translations http://www.microsoft.com/Language/en-US/Terminology.aspx