MUI (Multilingual User Interface) and LIP (Language Interface Pack) are language packs that contains localized resources for the user interface in Windows. All installations of Windows contain at least one MUI language pack (that’s the language version of the Windows installer), in addition to language-neutral binaries and programs. Users of Windows operating system can install additional language packs to switch and change the display language in order to view dialog boxes, menus, wizards, Help topics and other items in different language.
Microsoft provides two types of language packs, namely MUI and LIP.
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. The parent MUI language pack needs to be installed before the LIP can be installed.
On the other hand, MUI provides a translated version of most of the user interface. All installed Windows operating system has one MUI language pack by default, which corresponds to the language version of the Windows license. Additional MUI language packs, although also available for free, does not require license to use. Microsoft only allows pricier editions of Windows to be able to install MUI, which can be downloaded from Windows Update. The supported editions of Windows 7 are Windows Vista Ultimate or Windows Vista Ultimate and Windows 7 Ultimate or Windows 7 Enterprise. MUI is not available for cheaper editions of Windows, such as Windows 7 Starter, Windows 7 Home Basic, Windows 7 Home Premium or Windows 7 Professional and Windows Vista Starter, Windows Vista Home Basic, Windows Vista Home Premium or Windows Vista Business.
For non-MUI-supported editions of Windows 7 or Vista, user can choose to upgrade directly to Ultimate edition via Windows Anytime Upgrade which available for both Windows 7 and Vista (payment required though) if he or she wants to install multiple languages. For users who want to switch to another language version of Windows permanently, you will need to clean install Windows by using DVD or ISO image of Windows in that particular language with data and settings transferred via Windows Easy Transfer, despite the product key works on any language version. More advanced option is to slipstream the MUI language packs into the Windows installation file and then do a clean install of Windows again. The easiest alternative, there is a hack that allows MUI language packs to be installed even on unsupported edition Windows operating system. The ability to install MUI language packs on all and any editions of Windows was first developed by Chinese hackers when Windows Vista was released, and has since been perfected by a program called Vistalizator.
Vistalizator is a tool that able to override (read: hack or crack) the limit of one MUI language on non-Ultimate and non-Enterprise editions of Windows 7 and Windows Vista, effectively allowing users to change display language in any and all Windows editions, suc has Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium and Business/Professional.
Features of Vistalizator:
- Works in 32-bit and 64-bit Windows Vista/Windows 7
- Change Windows display language in less than 5 minutes! (Express installation mode)
- Uses official Microsoft Windows language packs
- You can install all 36 MUI languages and switch between them easily
- You can install 55 Vista LIP languages on top of specific MUI languages
- Compatible with Vista Service Pack 1 and Vista Service Pack 2
- User Account Control (UAC) compliant – prompts for administrative privileges
- Windows Speech Recognition works with all supported languages: Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese and Spanish
- Languages can be installed either in Internal or in Express mode
In fact Vistalizator is not just a hack to install MUI language packs on unsupported editions of Windows OS, it’s a complete language packs manager for Windows, which allows user to install or uninstall language packs, and change display language directly from within the program.
To use Vistalizator, user needs to separately download the MUI or LIP language packs that wanted to install. Here’s where you can download the Windows MUI language packs.
- Download 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x64) Windows Vista (RTM) MUI language packs
- Download 32-bit (x86) Windows Vista SP1 MUI language packs or download 64-bit (x64) Windows Vista SP1 MUI language packs
- Download 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x64) Windows Vista SP2 MUI language packs
- Download 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x64) Windows 7 (RTM) MUI language packs
Download Vistalizator (current version 2.30): Vistalizator.exe
By default, Vistalizator is using Express mode which uses a “quick and dirty” approach to install new languages and is not able to update all the Windows system catalogs. So the the new languages installed are not recognized by Windows, and thus not updated by Windows Update upon (automatic) installation of some hotfixes or updates that affect language resources, causing some features to not working properly. Internal installation mode, meanwhile, makes use of internal Windows language installer, and should always be used for installation of LIP language packs. More information on the installation mode can be found here.
One major caution though, is that, Windows 7 Activation Technologies now starts to flag system with unsupported edition of Windows 7 OS but installed with MUI language packs as non-genuine.
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