Microsoft is making available localised versions of its Visual Studio 2010 IDE and accompanying .Net Framework 4 platform, beginning with releases this week in French, German, and Japanese, a Microsoft executive said in a blog post.

"With over a million words in the user interface and about 20 million words of documentation, producing localised versions of Visual Studio and the .Net Framework represents a massive engineering, testing, and translation effort," S. Somasegar, senior vice president of the Microsoft Developer Division, said in a blog entry. " This is just the first wave of localised releases, several more are following soon."

Releases will be offered in May in Spanish, Italian, and Russian, followed in June by releases in traditional and simplified Chinese and Korean.

Visual Studio 2010 has capabilities for developing SharePoint, Windows 7, and Windows Azure cloud applications as well as features like multi-monitor support. .Net Framework 4.0 offers a runtime for dynamic languages. In a separate blog post from late-last year, another Microsoft official drove home the point about the importance of internationalisation.

"Not everyone in the world speaks English," said Microsoft Principal Program Manager Scott Hanselman. "Such a silly thing to say, but if you live in an English-speaking country it's easy to forget that many (most?) people in the world would prefer to do their work in the language of their choice."

Language packs for Czech, Polish, Turkish, and Brazilian Portuguese are planned for this summer. "These language packs switch your English Visual Studio Professional user interface into any of these languages and will have a majority of the user interface localised," Somasegar said. Online, translated documentation also will be offered for Brazilian Portuguese, Czech, and Turkish users.

"This summer, we will also release a CLIP (Captions Language Interface Pack) for Visual Studio 2010 in 10 additional languages. CLIP is a free tool that displays translations in a tooltip and discrete dialog as the user moves the cursor on top of the various user interface elements," Somasegar said. These languages include: Arabic, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Malay, Malayalam, Oriya, Tamil and Thai.