After Outcry from Users, Microsoft Revives Language Portal

Microsoft Language Portal is Back

Call it a comeback, in more than a few languages. Just as translators and other professionals began mourning a long-respected localization touchstone, Microsoft reversed its decision to discontinue support for its Language Portal, effective June 30, 2023.

“Considering the many voices of regret expressed by members of the linguist community, my team at Microsoft decided to explore our possibilities for preserving what you accurately described as [a] beloved resource,” Microsoft’s Director of International Data & Applied Science, Agustín Da Fieno Delucchi, told Slator.

The new landing page for language resources, part of the overall Microsoft Globalization Documentation site, went live on June 29, 2023.

While Da Fieno Delucchi acknowledged that the landing page is “not in the same format” as its predecessor, it offers links to a terminology search page; a UI string search page; localization style guides; and documentation of Windows’ different regional formats for a variety of locales. 

“If you’re working on software localization, this hub offers a wealth of localized terms extracted from Microsoft’s own products,” freelance technical translator Raffaele Tutino posted on LinkedIn, praising the “vast collection of terminologies specific to Microsoft’s technology stack [from] Azure to Windows, Dynamics to Office 365.”

Tutino agreed with a commenter who said he preferred the previous interface, writing, “In fact it has a less user-friendly design, but better that it exists in another form rather than being removed forever as stated by Microsoft initially.”

Duane K. Dougal, responding to a commenter asking why Microsoft wanted to “pull the plug on such valuable data for translators,” wrote, “I doubt that it was intentional. It’s likely that someone just didn’t understand the critical value of terminology for the ecosystem and how important it is for Microsoft and the tremendous benefit it is to Microsoft as well.”

Ultimately, localization specialist Özge Olcay may have best summed up translators’ reactions to the news: “Whew, that was close 😥”