What's new for you in Windows 7: Extended Linguistic Services

Now that you've been able to go check out our PDC talk (online here), I'm excited to introduce you and this blog to ELS, our next big set of globalization support for developers! From our PDC Developer Guide:

Extended Linguistic Services (ELS) is a new feature in Windows 7 that allows developers to use the same small set of APIs to leverage a variety of advanced linguistic functionality. By using ELS APIs in Windows 7, developers can auto-detect the language of any piece of Unicode text and use that information to help make smarter user experience choices for customers around the world. ELS also offers built in transliteration support that converts text from one writing system to another. For instance, developers can now auto-convert text between Simplified and Traditional Chinese to help people communicate with each other across linguistic boundaries. By using ELS APIs, developers will be able to use existing ELS services as well as pick up new services in the future without learning new code.

You can also read more about it on our Go Global website here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/goglobal/dd156834.aspx

The white paper takes you through the basics of what we're building and some places where we think you might find it helpful, and also offers some code samples that those of you who are planning to play with the Windows 7 beta bits will be able to try out. Some of the first ELS functionality that's coming your way includes:

  • Transliteration functionality that will let you convert automatically between Simplified and Traditional Chinese, allowing you to bring your Chinese content to an even greater number of customers without any localization costs on your part
  • Language detection support that handles every language with a supported Windows locale (100+!)
  • A simple API set that you will be able to learn once and use to call every service that ELS exposes, now or in the future

The first pieces developed by the ELS team are currently online for customers using the Chinese convertor over at the Windows Live Translator site, so if you want a taste of some of the support that ELS APIs will make available in Windows 7, give it a whirl.

I'm pretty excited about it! If you check it out, I'd love to know what you think. The functionality we're adding now is just the beginning of several services that we have in our roadmap. In the coming weeks, I'll be posting more specifically about our API set and services, so stay tuned.