Chinese User Interface (MUI)
for English Windows XP
Display Menus and Dialogs in Chinese
Microsoft offers Multilingual User Interface (MUI) Packs for both Windows and Office. The MUI Packs convert menus, dialogs and many other features of the English versions of Windows and Office into other languages, including traditional and simplified Chinese.
Please note: These packages have nothing to do with the reading and writing features discussed elsewhere on this site. They are solely focused on changing the user interface.
This summary will use only the MUI Pack for Windows as an illustration. The Office MUI is a separate product. Here is a comparison of the Internet Explorer file menu in the two side-by-side screen shots of the traditional and simplified Chinese UI:
These MUI Packs are primarily intended to assist worldwide corporate IT administration, with all language interfaces based on one single and stable configuration of the English version of Windows XP. But for individual, academic and small business users they are also useful, educational, interesting and fun. (Yes, "fun". I'm a sick man. ;-)
MUI Packs do not provide all the features of fully localized versions, and many items remain in English, including much of the Help information.
In the picture above you can see my XP Pro OEM edition with the four-disk MUI Pack. Each MUI CD has six or seven languages on it. I used only CD #1, which includes traditional and simplified Chinese.
Although now included free with Vista Ultimate and Enterprie (as "Language Packs"), I had to purchase a special version of Windows XP to obtain these features. I purchased it along with some parts for a new PC I was building, for a discount price very close to that of a non-MUI package. (Just search "XP Multilingual" on NewEgg.com.)
Windows MUI Packs are available only for 2000, XP Professional, Server 2000/2003, XP Tablet and XP Embedded. There is no MUI Pack for the XP Home Edition. MUI Packs are sold only together with Windows, and only in OEM packages or as part of corporate sales. However, if you then want to install your MUI Pack on an existing Windows system instead there is nothing in the installation program that will stop you from doing so. (I'll let Microsoft speak to the legal fine print, but you did just buy another legitimate copy of Windows.)
After installing XP Pro, the separate and simple installation procedure for each CD in the MUI Pack consists almost entirely of this one dialog box:
Switching between languages is also a simple process, involving our old friend the Regional and Language Options control panel, where you will find a new pull-down menu:
A dialog will then ask you to log out and log back in to complete the change. You do not need to reboot.
Please remember that MUI Packs do not provide all the features of fully localized versions, and many items remain in English, including much of the Help information.