“We see this as a turning point for us as technology plays such an important part in our lives here in the region,” Microsoft’s regional manager Isaiah Okoth said.
“When computers are easy to use and relevant they can be embraced far more widely and used far more effectively,” he told a news conference to unveil Kiswahili versions of Microsoft’s Office, Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint programs.
Okoth said the venture into Kiswahili was a first for the US-based company under its new Local Language Programme (LLP) which plans to develop translations of Microsoft software into 40 regional tongues by the end of 2006.
The LLP is a lightweight way to build localized language support for the less used languages within Microsoft products in cooperation with local governments and experts. It looks like it is running behind though since the original claim was 40 languages by March 2005.
Update: There are more LLP details in this report from Xinhua.