Windows Multilingual User Interface
Who should read this brief:
CIOs, IT professionals, software
asset managers, IT asset
managers, SAM consultants,
and IT procurement managers.
What it’s about:
Understanding the licensing
implications from a software
asset management standpoint
for a Multilingual User Interface,
available for Microsoft® Windows
operating systems.
Why you should care:
To ensure you deploy and utilize
the Windows Multilingual User
Interface in accordance with your
licensing agreements.
Understanding the licensing
requirements for a Microsoft®
Multilingual User Interface (MUI)
can help ensure that your
organization installs and uses its
software in accordance with your
Microsoft® Volume Licensing
agreements. Microsoft's Software
Asset Management (SAM)
program is providing this brief to
help organizations take full
advantage of MUI technology,
while meeting their licensing
Today's global business environment requires software that can accommodate the
multilingual needs of international workforces. Microsoft makes this possible via its
Windows® Multilingual User Interface (MUI) technology. With MUI your organization
can install a single image of a Windows operating system that supports the display of
multiple languages throughout the operating system and applications.
Microsoft's SAM program recommends that you carefully review the software license
terms for MUI technology to ensure that your organization can meet its Microsoft
licensing requirements, while gaining the full benefits from the software it has
The Windows Multilingual User Interface
Through MUI, a single, enterprise-wide installation of Windows can provide access
to 36 different languages, subject only to the terms of your organization's license
agreements. MUI is available to Volume Licensing customers with an active
Enterprise Agreement (EA) and Software Assurance (SA) customers who have
purchased SA for the operating system or for a specific application.
How It Works
The Multilingual User Interface is a set of language-specific resource files that can
be added to an English-language version of Windows. After the resource files have
been installed, users can select the language of choice through the Regional and
Language option in the Control Panel in Windows. Once a new language is selected,
the MUI will change approximately ninety-seven percent of the English system
menus, dialog boxes, Help screens, and so on to the MUI-supported language
(see FAQs for a list of all languages currently available). As a result, users who read
and speak in different languages can share the same workstation, while individuals
moving from one location to another can work at any computer in their preferred
language. Users may choose to install one language pack, some, or all 36 the
language packs that come with Windows MUI. However, for Microsoft Volume
License customers, the all-language option is the only one available.
Benefits of MUI
Unlike localized versions of software, MUI versions display menus and dialogs in the
targeted language. Localized versions will include those features, plus translated file
and folder names. Organizations can save costs with MUI rather than purchasing
licenses for each localized language of the same software.
In addition to the productivity benefits of such multi-language support, the MUI also helps reduce the time and costs
associated with desktop administration and management of multi-language enabled infrastructure.
IMPORTANT: Windows MUI Is Not Applicable to Microsoft Office Products.
Windows MUI does not provide the functionality to switch user interface languages in Microsoft Office products. There are
several options for obtaining multi-language capabilities with Office products, which include:
• Microsoft Office Language Packs (MLP) and Multi-Language Packs: For the Office family of products, these two
add-ons enable multilingual functionality similar to that of the MUI: Microsoft Office Language Pack (MLP) provides
single language support, while Microsoft Office Multi-Language Packs contain a complete set of single language packs
for the corresponding version of Office. MLPs allow people to change the display language for the Microsoft® Office
programs installed on their computers, access Help, tabs menus, and dialog boxes, and to use proofing and editing tools
in their preferred language. Each Office language pack has its own set-up, installation, and service packs. Microsoft
Office Language Packs are available for purchase from
• Language Interface Pack (LIP): Designed for use with either Microsoft Windows or Office and available for free, a
Language Interface Pack provides users with an approximately eighty percent localized user experience by translating a
reduced set of user interface elements. The LIP is available only for consumer versions of Windows and Office products.
How Mislicensing Occurs
The vast majority of mislicensing discrepancies are inadvertent. To stay competitive, companies are under constant
pressure to deliver the latest software capabilities to their employees. Multinational organizations that operate in more than
one country will likely have software deployed in multiple language configurations to support the needs of their employees
across the globe. As a result, it can be difficult to stay on top of how many times a particular software title and language has
been installed, and which versions of software are eligible for MUI.
Microsoft provides software asset management tools such as Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager and
Microsoft Asset Inventory Service which offer details and comprehensive reports on the software licenses your organization
has purchased and software installations in your network environment. However, ultimately it is your organization's
responsibility to ensure that you can match the licenses you've purchased with the ones you're actually using.
Selecting the Correct Windows MUI Language Pack
Beginning with Windows Professional 2000, all non-consumer versions of the Windows operating system support the MUI.
It's important to note that because it is designed primarily for business users, MUI is not available on consumer versions,
such as Windows 7 Home Edition. Additionally, for OEM versions of the Windows Operating system, you are licensed only
for the language of the software purchased. For example, you are not authorized to deploy a localized version of
Windows 7 using a product key for the English version of the operating system.
According to your use rights, your organization can install either single or multiple MUI language packs depending on the
version of the Windows operating system and/or type of licensing agreement:
Licenses for Windows Vista and Windows 7 operating systems allow organizations to install and use MUI language packs
as follows:
• Multiple MUI language packs with support for per-user settings-available only for Ultimate and Enterprise editions of
Windows Vista and Windows 7.
• Single MUI language interface pack and no per-user settings-applies to all other editions of Windows Vista and
Windows 7 Licenses for other editions of Windows Vista and Windows 7 and for OEM versions.
Microsoft Multilingual User Interface
IMPORTANT: It is not physically possible to legitimately install a multiple MUI language pack on Windows Vista or
Windows 7 versions other than Ultimate or Enterprise. (Remember, a MUI converts roughly ninety-seven percent of user
interface elements, and should not be confused with a Language Interface Pack (LIP), which converts only eighty percent
and is available for free.) If MUI language packs appear on versions other than Ultimate or Enterprise, they were likely
installed either mistakenly or illegally through tampering, and hence those versions of Windows are not genuine and not
Windows XP Professional and Windows 2000 Professional licenses that allow for installation of single and multiple MUI
language packs include:
• Licenses that are covered under Enterprise or Open Value agreements and include the "all language" option.
NOTE: Select and Open Business customers had to have purchased the "all language" option SKU to be able to use
MUI for these specific products. Neither product was available for Select Plus customers.
• Campus or school license agreements for educational institutions.
• Licenses covered under Software Assurance.
All Microsoft Windows Server® operating system software (e.g., Windows 2000 Server, Windows Server 2003, and
Windows Server 2008) include MUI as part of the base software and it is also available as a separate download on A customer's right to use MUI is subject to the terms of their software license and the Product Use
Rights (PUR).
Availability of Office Individual Language Packs and Multi-Language Packs (MLPs)
As mentioned earlier, your licensing terms do not support the use of Windows MUI for Microsoft Office products. For
Microsoft Office 2010, Microsoft Office 2007 and earlier versions, customers are licensed to install and use Microsoft Office
Language Packs and Multi-Language Packs if they have one of the following:
• Software Assurance with a qualifying Office license
• An Enterprise or Open Value agreement that includes the "all language" option
• A single language pack (available for purchase from
SAM Brief Series
This brief is one in a series of in-depth guides to help you understand Microsoft's product licensing and to provide guidance
to simplify meeting the requirements of your licensing agreements. The information in these briefs helps ensure that your
organization uses Microsoft software in accordance with the terms of its agreements, which in turn helps you meet your
compliance goals while reducing your exposure to potential liabilities.
Refer to the SAM Briefs page to download the other briefs in the series:
• Software Versions and Editions
• Windows Multilingual User Interface
Microsoft Multilingual User Interface
Additional Resources
For more information, please contact your Microsoft account representative or visit one of the following websites:
SAM and Licensing Information
Software Asset Management:
Microsoft Volume Licensing:
Microsoft Product Licensing Search:
Microsoft Product Use Rights and Product Lists:
Microsoft Volume Licensing Service Center:
Windows MUI Knowledge Center:
Understanding MUI:
Volume Licensing Briefs:
MUI Language Packs for Windows Vista:
Windows Server 2003, Windows XP, and Windows 2000 MUI FAQ:
Globalization Step-by-Step-MUI:
Office and Windows MUI Pack Deployment Resources:
Office Multi-Language Pack 2010 Use Rights:
Office Language Packs 2010 FAQ:
Office 2010 Language Pack Information:
Office Language Interface Pack (LIP) downloads:
Microsoft Multilingual User Interface
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What languages are supported
by the Windows Multilingual
User Interface (MUI)?
For Windows 7 Enterprise and Ultimate
editions, 36 MUI language packs are
available: Arabic, Brazilian, Bulgarian,
Chinese/Simplified, Chinese/
Traditional, Chinese/Hong Kong,
Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch,
English, Estonian, Finnish, French,
German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi,
Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean,
Lithuanian, Norwegian, Polish,
Portuguese, Romanian, Russian,
Serbian Latin, Slovak, Slovenian,
Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, and
What editions of the Windows
operating system support MUI?
All non-consumer Windows editions
support the MUI, including Windows
2000 Professional, Windows Server
2000, Windows XP Professional,
Windows Server 2003 editions,
Windows XP Embedded and Windows
XP Tablet PC editions, Windows Vista
Ultimate and Enterprise editions,
Windows Server 2008 editions, and
Windows 7 Ultimate and Enterprise
editions. Home and starter editions of
the Windows operating system are not
supported by MUI.
I have Windows 7 Professional
with multiple language packs
installed, is this allowed?
No, multiple language packs are only
licensed for Ultimate or Enterprise
Editions. For customers running lower
editions such as Windows 7
Professional or Home editions, you
only have the right to use the software
in the language it came with.
Our organization does not have
licenses for the "all language
option" of Ultimate or the
Enterprise editions of the
Windows Operating systems.
What other options do we have?
Organizations that do not have
licenses for Ultimate or Enterprise
Editions of the operating system
software can download a Language
Interface Pack (LIP). The LIP provides
a translated version of the most widely
used areas of the user interface, is
available as free download and can be
installed on any edition of Windows 7
and Windows Vista. As not all of the
user interface is translated, LIPs
require at least one parent MUI
language, such as English, German,
or Spanish, so that the parts of the user
interface that are not translated into the
LIP language are displayed in the
parent language.
How do I install or remove MUI
After Windows has been installed, you
can use the MUISetup.exe program
to add or remove languages. For MUI
installation guides, see:
How can I tell which languages
have been installed?
To see which languages have been
installed on the PC, go to the Region
and Language applet located in the
Control Panel. You can also use the
MUISetup.exe program to view this
How can I purchase Windows
MUI language packs?
You can download and purchase
Windows MUI language packs from
the Microsoft Web site, but before
doing so, check your license
agreements to make sure you're
eligible. For example, Licenses for
Ultimate and Enterprise editions of
Windows Vista and Windows 7 allow
for installation of a Multi-Lingual pack
or any number of individual language
packs, while consumer editions such
as Windows 7 Home Edition do not
allow more than one language pack to
be installed at a time. For most server
products, the MUI is included in the
base software, or can be downloaded
separately from the Microsoft
Download center. Please note that
usage is subject to the terms of your
software license and Product Use
Rights (PUR).
For which editions of Microsoft
Office 2007 are Office MultiLanguage Packs available?
Office Multi-Language Packs are
available for Microsoft Office Standard
2007, Office Professional Plus 2007,
Office Enterprise 2007, Office Project
2007, Project Professional 2007, Visio®
Standard 2007, and Visio Professional
2007. Licenses to install and use
Microsoft Office single or Multi-Lingual
Packs vary as follows
• Office Multi-Language and single
language packs are not available
for all Office 2007 products
covered under Volume Licenses.
Please review your volume
license agreement to determine
your eligibility.
• Software Assurance (SA)
licenses support single and MultiLanguage Packs for any qualified
Office 2007 product in your SA
application list.
• If you have a qualified Office
product that isn't included in your
SA application list, you can
purchase Microsoft Office
Language Packs for 2007 at:
NOTE: Only one language pack is
required per desktop to support all
Office 2007 applications.
How can I buy Office Language
Office Language Packs for single
language support are available for
purchase at Microsoft Office Online:
The Office Multi-Language Pack is
available for Microsoft Volume license
customers as a Software Assurance
benefit. For details, see:
© 2011 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
Disclaimer This brief should be used and read in conjunction with the terms and conditions under which Microsoft products are licensed. If you acquire licenses under a Microsoft Volume Licensing Program (e.g.,
Enterprise Agreement or Select Plus), you should refer to the Product Use Rights for the products and the program agreement under which the licenses are acquired. The type and number of licenses required may
vary based on how and where you deploy the software.
This document is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS DOCUMENT. This information is provided to help guide your authorized use of products
you license; it is not your agreement. Your use of products licensed under your volume license agreement is governed by the terms and conditions of that agreement. In the case of any conflict between this information
and your agreement, the terms and conditions of your agreement control. Prices for licenses acquired through Microsoft resellers are determined by the reseller.
Microsoft Multilingual User Interface