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Office speaks Hindi

Microsoft has launched a customized edition of Office to cater to the multiple languages of India.

    Microsoft has launched a customized edition of Office to cater to the multiple languages of India.

    Dubbed Office Hindi, the package consists of familiar applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook. It comes in two versions--standard and professional--and supports nine Indian languages, the company said.

    Beyond native language support, the software giant said the professional version of Office Hindi also boasts a changeable user interface that lets people toggle between Hindi and English.

    In addition, Microsoft is working with more than 10 Indian developers to provide extras for its Office suite. Add-on applications developed to date include a Hindi text-to-speech converter, additional fonts and special dictionaries.

    Office Hindi is available from Microsoft's resellers in India. The Punjab National Bank and India's Department of Income Tax are among the early adopters of the product, the company added.

    Plans to tailor Office for the Indian market were first unveiled when Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates visited the country in November 2002.

    Zen Lee of CNETAsia reported from Singapore.