The company I work for has a Russian sales office to which a new employee
has been appointed.
He is considering buying a laptop in Moscow but then bringing it here to
load UK Windows and MS Office.
He claims that the OS and Office sold with the laptops in Russia cannot be
modified to work in English.
Are there compatibility issues between hardware sourced elsewhere in the
world (particularly Russia in this case obviously) and MS software supplied
specifically for the UK market?
I'd try plugging a USB keyboard in. You may need to change the USB
settings in the BIOS to enable legacy mode. You *may* be able to get
away with just touch typing the key, ignoring what's on the keytops, but
I've not tried that.
You'll also probably need to get at least the Professional versions of
the OS and Office to allow you to add extra languages.
Or, as has been suggested, try Linux and Open Office, which will give
you fairly good file compatibility with anything up to MS Office 2010.
It would be interesting to see if the validation codes for a Russian
version would be accepted on an English one. In the old days before
intrusive validation registration procedures this wasn't an issue.
Plenty of shovelware CDs with Office 2010 trial floating around...
Notably the keyboard may have Cyrillic characters (and extra keys for
Korean or Chinese DBCS escapes) depending on the market. It is usually
the miscellaneous characters like "£" that get gratuitously permuted/lost.
I'm not sure if applies to the UK, but there are restrictions, with
severe penalties, for exporting US-sourced software to certain foreign
countries. Since Windows is US-sourced, you might want to check up on
this before doing anything that might eventually get you extradited to
the US for trial, such as the three Natwest bankers, and the fellow
currently awaiting trial in Texas.
You have been warned.
Even during the COCOM era it was possible to export some kit to Russia.
Though the effects of corporate lobbying in the USA was clear. Selling
IBM 4.7MHz PCs was good, Compaqs or Dells at 6 or 8MHz were prohibited.
ISTR in the same week in the early 1980's an IBM salesman won an export
award for selling 2000 IBM PC/XTs (with hard disks) to Moscow State
University and some hapless German businessman was jailed for selling
500 Beebons to an East German university. The latter had hires graphics
that were just slightly too good for the COCOM rules at that time.
I have no idea if this is or indeed ever was the case. But I understood
that software or IP generated outside Russia was not protected and could
be copied unabated, similar to India and Taiwan, although protective of
Can anyone confirm if this is true or not, it could have a bearing on
importing any laptop/software into the UK?
Pirated versions of windows are widepsread in Russia to an extent not
seen here. Even banks use pirated windows, with authorities showing
little interest in enforcing payments to America. I dont know what
sort of trouble you might run into when carrying it between countries.
The safe option really is linux. You can take a few choice linux live
cds when buying the laptopamibob, put them in and check it works ok.
Just beware of patchy webcam support.
Who makes the laptop?
Laptops tend to have specialist hardware which needs corresponding
drivers. As an English speaking person, I would not want to have to
download drivers from a Russian language website. (Well there is Google
It appears that I could configure W7 on my Desktop PC to use a Russian
How easy would it be for the new employee to send a letter/email in
English if he has a Russian Keyboard?
He has yet to buy the laptop in Russia, so manufacturer not yet known.
Having tried to make changes to a Russian language laptop, I am really not
sure how he has been working in English with a Russian keyboard!
Aren't we all over-thinking this a bit? The whole reason computers came
to the masses and the reason why we can walk into any computer shop
from Land's End to John O'Groats and know what we are getting when we
buy a computer is because of mass production and industry standards.
Surely an ATX 2.0 PSU for example, complies to an industry-wide,
I know we're talking about a laptop here but surely the same principle
applies? It may be a russian laptop, maybe even manufactured (as well
as purchased) in Russia, but surely it'll be a Dell or an HP or Sony or
whatever, that will use (say) Nvidia graphics, Intel processor etc. The
russians are hardly likely to have reinvented the wheel and made
something of their own from scratch - IMHO of course :oŞ
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.