I will be starting a new job soon. I would prefer to be included in the decisions concerning the laptop I will get, especially given that the main software I will be using differs a bit in the Windows and Mac versions. Also, the language of the system plays a role for me since, for example, I know Excel commands in English and having to translate them into the vernacular will drive me mad if the Office is installed in the vernacular (VLOOKUP in French, anybody?).

Is it ok to inquire about this before starting and to try to influence what I get or will it sound arrogant/ out of place?

I want to avoid IT colleagues' preparing my laptop twice.

We agreed when my first day is and are not in contact right now with the company.

closed as too broad by gnat, gazzz0x2z, scaaahu, jimm101, JazzmanJim Dec 21 '18 at 19:03

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • Depending on the OS, it's often possible to use custom languages, even the keyboard can be changed. Now if functions are called differently, I would not expect this to be acceptable by your workplace - this will have to be the same as anyone else's. – bytepusher Dec 19 '18 at 17:42
  • @bytepusher, obviously, the keyboard can be changed. But I don't think it's possible to change the language Microsoft Office is displayed in once it's installed. We have many international colleagues who don't speak a word of the vernacular, so I'm quite sure all the software on some computers is installed in English. – 13442136 Dec 19 '18 at 17:46
  • The office docs disagree: File->options-> language. In my experience, a lot of programs offer similar features, sometimes after installing a language pack. – bytepusher Dec 19 '18 at 20:37

From the hardware perspective, many companies have a standard machine configuration for all users to facilitate the support processes. Some may have Windows and Mac choices, others not. Unless there is a very strong reason, you probably will have to comply with those options.

If you work in a multi-language environment, you may have more leeway in requesting the install language for the OS. You should reach out to your future manager and express your concerns/desires so they can be accounted for.

In the end, you will have to work within the decisions they make and you should not expect to have a large part in the decision beyond providing your information.


Most companies (all?) usually have a standard set up that everybody gets. This makes it easier for IT support.

I would just wait for the first day. Then when you have specific requirements, ask the IT department.


If you main issue is localization, be assured that there's always possibilities to change the locale of your computer. Or the general setup of Microsoft Office Suite.

You might want to avoid having this discussion with your future employer, as you might appear "picky" which would make for a bad first impression.

Most of the time, companies have some standard IT setup from which you cannot derogate unless really good reason. In my opinion, function names on a software is not a valid one.

  • "The function names" will make me need more time for my work (I use advanced excel a lot). I will basically need to look up the translation of every function. Also, some of my coworkers don't speak a word of the vernacular, so I'm quite sure they have everything installed in English. Not sure why you think that's invalid. – 13442136 Dec 19 '18 at 17:48
  • Because, as I said, it's something that can be changed, so not a real issue. – ChrisR Dec 19 '18 at 18:02

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.