Today, we tested a Windows 7 will Swahili, actually Kiswahili option. It is a really good job from the Microsifites. Many had praised this marginal innovation though it is not clear how many Africans will sign up for this when English is the sin qua non.
The GM of East and Southern Africa Microsoft, Louis Otieno, has praised the product at launch. He also noted the investment in R&D in Microsoft to get more more across the globe as they ramp up new products and features in Microsoft (now that Chrome is emerging as a competitor). Africa continues to play a role and Kenya is central for Microsoft East African strategy.
“This past year, Kenyan companies concentrated on laying down the infrastructure needed to move the ICT sector to greater heights. This year should be the one that these same companies concentrate on using the infrastructure they laid down last year to improve themselves in terms of accelerated consumption of services and driven growth.”
It was reported that no Tanzanian was involved in this translation. They said it took 50 days. Working with linguistics and using online collaboration tool, a team of engineers worked on this from different countries, mainly Kenya and South Africa. A Microsoft partner, Mpasua Msonobari, noted
“Absolutely no Tanzanians were involved in the translation of this new interface. This was done by Kenyans and goes on to show that there is a big community of Swahili speakers living in Kenya. ”
The software is available for only legal versions of Windows and it can be downloaded from Windows site ( search for the language under downloads). It is expected that Office 2010 in Swahili will debut this year also.