Re: DEAR MICROSOFT...
I discovered recently that its worse than that: I had to buy a replacement Windows machine recently because my old one broke irretrievably. I had bought it in the UK, and all was fine with it. Since I am now in China, I had to quickly buy a Chinese PC. The only safe ones I could buy only had Windows 7 Basic on them, and I found that to change the language to English (any kind, I'm not fussy becauise it is a priority), I had to pay mega-bucks to first upgrade to the Windows Ultimate editon. Just another excuse to make money.
The interface is subtly different; in the Chines version, the position of some options are not the same compared with the English version (so I can't use memory to recall what meu item to choose). Also, the shortcut keys are not the same. They seem to have made it as difficult as possible to simply change languages so that they can squeeze more money out of you. Before, I was displeased with Microsoft; now I hate them. Furthermore, if I install software (freeware, shareware or licensed), it often uses as an interface language the settings it finds on the computer, so everything is set up using Chinese as well. The option to change to English is sometimes not there at all, and if it is, one needs to understand Chinese to be able to find out how easily. I used to be reasonably proficient using Windows, but because I cannot read many Chinese characters, I've sudenly become a functional 8 year old or worse when using it in Chinese.
On Linux, such language changes are done easily. The problem for me is that I must use Windows because of reasons completely outside my control. If I could, I'd ditch it tomorrow.