Mango’s Language Support Detailed…

John McConnell, a member of the Windows Phone International Engineering team, updated the official Windows Phone blog today with more information about increased language support in the Mango update for Windows Phone coming this Fall. Here are the high-points:

In Mango, we’re adding 17 more: Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese (simplified and traditional), Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Hungarian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian (Bokmål), Polish, Portuguese, Russian, and Swedish.

The Zune software will be available for the same set of languages.

McConnell notes that phones will not display all language options because each carrier and device manufacturer decides this option. The reason stated for this:

For one, they take up a significant amount of space, leaving less room for music, pictures, and other content. Also, an operator may not be able to support a particular language. For example, an operator in Norway might not feel comfortable supporting a phone with Hungarian. That said, many phones likely will have multiple display languages installed.

Mango will also increase the available languages for input:

The 20 new keyboard options are: Brazilian Portuguese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Hungarian, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Malaysian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Swedish, Traditional Chinese, Turkish, and Ukrainian.

Note:The keyboard languages shown in Bold also support text prediction…

Windows Phone Blog: A view of the Start screen in Finnish (left), one of the 17 new display languages coming in Mango for Windows Phone. We’ve also created new keyboards for typing in East Asian languages such as Japanese (right).

Aside from the language support options coming, Windows Phone will also expand its Marketplace and Xbox offerings:

As we announced last month, starting this fall you’ll be able to buy apps from Windows Phone Marketplace in 35 countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom, and the United States. (The specifics of how you buy an app and which apps are available in Marketplace do vary by country.)

This fall you’ll see a significant increase in the number of new countries where the Xbox LIVE service for Windows Phone is available. The Zune Marketplace for music, video, and podcasts is also expanding to more markets. We’re not quite ready to announce specifics just yet—expect to hear more later this summer.

Finally, we get many questions about specific phone features—especially ones related to searching and mapping— and where they’ll be available. Here’s a list of ones we hear about most:

  • Bing search (accessed from the phone’s hardware Search button) is available in 33 countries: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom, and the United States. (Elsewhere, handset and mobile operators can configure the hardware search button to a locally-relevant search site).
  • Local search results show up in 6 countries: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, United Kingdom, and the United States.
  • Maps is supported in 19 countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the United States.
  • Voice-to-text and Voice-to-dial is available in 6 countries: France, Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, and the Unites States.
  • Voice search is supported in 4 countries: France, Germany, United Kingdom, and the United States

There is much more to his post which you can find here. Especially, a little more information about Arabic language support and Microsoft’s hopes and challenge of expanding the Marketplace and other services into more countries. Mango is getting closer to reality with each weeks blog update and it will be simply a matter of time before we have new hardware to go along with the improved OS.

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