Updatable Help speaks only English! What’s up with that?

PowerShell Team

Our customers have certainly not been shy about their interest in multiple languages of Windows PowerShell Updatable Help, and we’re grateful to hear how much they would value localized Help. Our challenge is this: Updatable Help is a new feature for this release of Windows PowerShell, and we have so very many new cmdlets and modules for Windows PowerShell 3.0 (over 2,300 new cmdlets in 95 modules). It takes time to translate the content once it’s available in English, and we can’t translate all of it. There’s just too much new content. One of the Windows PowerShell Core modules just by itself contains over 87,000 words, meaning it’s roughly the same size as Jane Austen’s Persuasion, or J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. That’s one module. We must make judicious choices about which modules get localized, and which are the most sought-after languages.

To determine which modules most urgently require translated Help, we’re looking primarily at the number of page views of the cmdlet Help topics in the TechNet Library. Although we don’t yet have the full picture at just five months after General Availability, this is giving us a good idea of which of the new modules are most read by our customers. Here’s a look at the current page view count for the top three non-Core modules, for example:

Module Name Page View Count
Hyper-V 114701
Storage 48653
PrintManagement 23915

We’re also viewing suggestions filed on the Microsoft Connect feedback website for Windows PowerShell. Some of our customers are filing suggestion bugs for getting the Updatable Help translated into languages that they’d like. We welcome and are reviewing these suggestions, too; but again, we will not be able to localize all modules of Updatable Help at this time. Additionally, it’s unlikely that there will be support for languages beyond those in which Windows Server 2012 was shipped. The languages in which the first-localized modules would most likely be available, within three to six months from now, are the following four:

  • Chinese (Traditional)
  • French
  • German
  • Japanese

While other languages might be supported, these are the most likely languages, based on known consumption of Windows Server (and other server and management software from Microsoft, such as the System Center suite, or SQL Server) in non-English languages. We are still open to considering additional language support for Windows PowerShell. Furthermore, we continuously update the localized content, potentially adding new languages, and new topics in previously-available languages.

Please do continue to give us your feedback about languages that you’d like to see, and the updatable Help that’s most valuable to you. And vote with your browsing, by viewing the cmdlet reference topics in your preferred language.

Thanks for your patience, while we work to get our international customers the module Help that they need the most.

The Windows PowerShell Team


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