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Frequently Asked Questions

Windows Language Interface Pack (LIP)

Microsoft Windows Language Interface Pack (LIP) is a high-quality, localized "skin" for emerging or minority language markets. (Click here for a list of available languages.) Based on MUI technology, LIP provides the desktop user with an approximately 80% localized user experience by translating a reduced set of user interface (UI) elements. LIP is installed on a licensed copy of Windows and has a dependency on a base Language Pack of Windows.

The main difference is in the level of localization in comparison to Language Pack (LP) packages: LIP packages provide the desktop user with the most frequently accessed user interface and basic user assistance support (help files). In addition, LIP is installed as a language add-on on top of an existing LP with base language dependency (Catalan LIP can only be installed on top of Spanish or French LP, Welsh LIP can only be installed on top of English LP). In addition, once a LIP is installed, switching the user interface between the LIP language and the LP base language is possible for users on all versions of Windows.

LIP relies on the same resource-loading technology that MUI LP is built on, and installs ontop of one base LP (in most cases).

No. Languages are offered as a LIP or a LP depending on the level of investment that Microsoft has in a specific country/region. It is possible for a LIP market to grow into a LP market between the current and future Windows rollout.

The LIP packages do not have complete localization coverage. Only more frequently used UI is localized. Components not localized include administrative tools, system error messages, event logs, and others. Only the basic User Assistance (Help) files are localized.

If an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) computer with LIP pre-installed is purchased, and the LIP language is selected at setup, the setup experience will be localized as well.

A LIP will work on future Windows Service Packs. However, new or updated resources introduced as result of the Service Pack will remain in the base LP language of the system. Some resources that used to be localized may appear in the base language after the Service Pack installation.

No. Windows XP LIP can only be installed on Windows XP platform. New technology and features that were introduced in Windows Vista require a newly designed LIP package. Neither are Windows Vista LIPs supported on Windows 7.

Yes. Upgrading from Windows XP to Windows Vista, or upgrading from Windows Vista to Windows 7, is allowed only between the same base system languages. Cross-language upgrade is not supported. When you upgrade your operating system, the LIP will be removed from your system. You will need to obtain the new LIP for your upgraded version of Windows to restore the desired LIP UI language.

For example:

OS PlatformLIPUpgrade PathResultComment
Windows XP (English)Vietnamese Windows Vista (English) Windows Vista (English)Install the Vietnamese LIP for Windows Vista to restore UI language in Vietnamese
Windows XP EnglishBulgarian*Windows Vista (Bulgarian)Not supported Cross-language upgrade is not supported; a clean installation is required 

*Bulgarian LIP is only available for Windows XP. This is one of the languages that became a LP in Windows Vista.

You can acquire LIP through the Download Languages page or through the Local Language Program site. LIPs can also be pre-installed with a new computer as an OEM version from your PC manufacturer where available.

Note: LIPs are not available through retail channels or through volume licensing programs such as the Microsoft Open License Program (MOLP/Open), Select, and Enterprise agreement. Customers of these channels can simply download the LIP from the Microsoft Download Center.

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