No Tablet PC for users in Latin America yet, MS says

When Microsoft Corp. officially launches its Windows XP Tablet PC Edition operating system on Nov. 7, users in Latin America and several European countries will find the software does not support their native languages.

Microsoft plans to initially ship Windows XP Tablet PC Edition in six languages: English, German, French, Korean, Japanese and Chinese (traditional and simplified versions). There will be no support for Spanish or Portuguese, among other languages, in the initial release, said Alexandra Loeb, vice president of Microsoft’s Tablet PC group.

“We should have both of those languages by version 2 (of the operating system). If we can have them sooner, we will,” Loeb said. She did not indicate when version 2 is expected to ship.

Microsoft released the English and German versions of Windows XP Tablet PC Edition to manufacturers on Aug. 30. The French, Japanese and Korean versions will be released to manufacturers on Sept. 30. They will be followed by simplified Chinese on Sept. 20 and traditional Chinese on Sept. 24, Loeb said.

Windows XP Tablet PC Edition is based on a pen-based input system that must be tailored to a specific language. Microsoft will not be shipping the software with support for Spanish and Portuguese on Nov. 7 as those versions are currently under development. “We have already started to gather data for them,” Loeb said.

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