Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Microsoft Supports Tamazight (Berber) Language in Morocco

The IT giant Microsoft has announced that their newest Operating system, Windows 8, will include the ability to use Tamazight as a language of choice.

The new Windows 8 version is going to be launched this week during a visit by Microsoft president Jean-Philippe to Morocco.

Users can choose between two main keyboards. The first one is the Tefinagh alphabet of Morocco developed by the Royale Institute of Cultural Tamazight and the second one is the Kabylian version of Tifinagh.

Microsoft has added Tamazight in order support Morocco's democratic transition and to enhance the integration of Tamazight as a formal language of the country.

According to Larbi Arbaoui, writing for Morocco World News, first news of the release came during the celebrations of the International Organization for Science and Culture of the mother tongue in the United Nations on 21 February, when Microsoft announced that Windows 8 would be available in 14 new languages, including Tamazight.

Microsoft has not yet announced the retail price of Windows 8 Pro, but observers say that Microsoft’s Windows 8 Pro software will be priced at $199 after a promotional price of $69.99 that will expire on January 31st 2013, and that Microsoft users are to be offered Windows 8 Pro upgrades online for $39.99.

The official release of Microsoft Windows 8 is scheduled for October 26. Microsoft has also announced there will be a new service in the field of Cloud Computing in Morocco.

While the news was welcomed in Morocco by Amazigh activists, several have told The View from Fez that it is more important to alleviate the conditions of poverty and disadvantage experienced by Amazigh families living in very poor conditions in the Atlas Mountain regions of the country.


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