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Microsoft dawdles over supporting Arab Mac users

Microsoft has announced on their website that they will not support Arabic in Office for Mac 2011 because “there will not be full right-to-left support for languages such as Arabic and Hebrew. We understand that some of our customers need support for RTL languages, and we’ll continue to prioritize our language support based on market opportunity and technical complexity. At this time, we don’t have any updates on languages or features beyond Office 2011.”

What’s ironic is that Microsoft Middle East has issued a press release about Office for Mac 2011 and they neglected to mention the missing Arabic support.

We at SaudiMac as well as many others have tried Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 Beta 6 and found that you can open Arabic documents created in Office on Windows. Here is a screenshot by Hussam Qasem:

However you cannot create proper Arabic documents in Office for Mac 2011 Beta 6.

This is not the first time as Microsoft has been neglecting Right-to-Left languages on the Mac. The Register covered the lack of Hebrew in Office for Mac since 2002!

It’s been 8 years since this was posted: “Microsoft’s Mac Hebrew snub prompts Israeli AntiTrust complaint“. Hebrew is still missing from Office for Mac.

What do you think? I find it weird that Microsoft Middle East even talked about a product that doesn’t support the majority of the Middle East. Microsoft even released a version of that press release in Arabic! What does Mr. Armagan Demir think about it?

Arabic version of this post on SaudiMac Arabic Edition.

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About Khaled A.

9 comments

  1. No comment..
    I’m so mad and sad

  2. Wouldn’t the Arabic support harm their Windows sales?

    • it didn’t in the US and other countries with %8 Mac market share. Why would they be afraid of %2 or less?

      Current beta can open Arabic documents, Microsoft is almost there. We don’t need an Arabic interface.

  3. Dear all,
    Plz join this cause on facebook to ask microsoft to fully support RTL languages.
    The main reason for this problem is the market. Microsoft thinks the RTL Mac users are a small community so let us prove they are WRONG!
    http://www.causes.com/causes/542456

  4. We need to put more pressure guys. Arab spring spirit should be crawling to MS Office for Mac. 
    “Alsha’ab Youreed Arabic for mac” LOL
    الشعب يرية العربي للماك

  5. We need to put more pressure guys. Arab spring spirit should be crawling to MS Office for Mac. 
    “Alsha’ab Youreed Arabic for mac” LOL

  6. Awesome report!! I just love your share!! Hershel Ballreich

x

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