In a bid to make computers accessible to the English challenged, Microsoft Corporation said it would soon release transliteration tools for six Indian languages – Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, Bengali, Kannada and Malayam.
The tools will allow users to key-in letters of the English script to phonetically spell the words in their respective languages.
Microsoft feels that lack of English language skills have kept people from using computers as can be seen from the fact that only 1.2 crore households in India have PCs as against 45 crore households with mobile phones, according to corporate vice-president and managing director of Microsoft India Development Centre (MSIDC), Srini Koppolu.
The beta version of the tools would be made available for free download from Microsoft's web site in the next few weeks. Developed by the Emerging Markets Labs at the Microsoft Indian Development Centre (MSIDC), these tools would help increase the user base according to Koppolu.
Showcasing the tools at a press conference on Wednesday, Koppolu said the company has made modifications to the transliteration services it had been offering for around a decade.
What users would probably most like about the tools is that they would now be able to send e-mails or chat in the language they are most familiar with, their mother tongue.