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UNICODE CONSORTIUM ANNOUNCES MULTILINGUAL STANDARDS MERGER; UNIFORM CHARACTER STANDARD SIMPLIFIES INTERNATIONALIZATION

 UNICODE CONSORTIUM ANNOUNCES MULTILINGUAL STANDARDS MERGER;
 UNIFORM CHARACTER STANDARD SIMPLIFIES INTERNATIONALIZATION
 MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., July 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Spearheading the effort to simplify the development of global information systems, the Unicode Consortium today announced the successful merger of Unicode's multilingual encoding standard with the recently approved ISO 10646, developed by the International Standards Organizations (ISO). This new merged standard will make multilingual software easier to write, information systems more powerful, yet easier to manage, and international information exchange more practical.
 "In a computer, each character is represented by a number," said Joe Becker, a Unicode Inc. technical vice president and a principal scientist at Xerox Corp. "Now, computers all over the world can agree on which number stands for which character so they will be able to 'talk' to each other in any language."
 The new ISO 10646 standard was approved by an overwhelming majority of the voting ISO member countries. These countries expressed a strong desire to merge ISO 10646 with Unicode's 16-bit encoding solution. Unicode worked closely with the national ISO member bodies who are meeting this week in Seoul, Korea to make a final editing pass over the approved standard.
 "With this new single international character encoding standard, exchanging computerized text between countries will become as flexible as fax machines are today," said Asmus Freytag, Unicode Inc. vice president of marketing and a program manager for the internationalization of Windows NT at Microsoft Corp. "Software developers will be able to write programs for a global market for users of any language and script."
 "The Unicode/ISO merged standard provides a single, complete and interchangeable character set for all the languages of the world, making it easier for different countries to transfer and share information," said Gayn Winters, a member of Unicode's board of directors and a technical director of software development at Digital Equipment Corp. "It simplifies the exchange of data between different platforms, which up to now implemented different, and often proprietary, representations of local language text." Unicode: Committed to the Future
 The Unicode consortium will continue to cooperate with ISO on future enhancements of the standard, coordinating the efforts of coding experts on standardizing modern and historical writing systems, as well as technical and publishing symbols.
 Additionally, the consortium provides support for implementors, addressing the complex issues of internationalization and large character sets. On this basis, the consortium will continue its series of workshops geared for implementors of the standard. These workshops are a forum for an exchange of implementation ideas, as well as internationalization design issues (the next conference is Aug. 6-7, Hyatt San Jose, CA)
 "Industry support for the Unicode standard continues to be strong," added Freytag. "Many companies are actively implementing Unicode solutions ranging from desktop operating systems to network products."
 Unicode Inc. is a consortium of diverse computer companies dedicated to maintaining and promoting a 16-bit standard for multilingual text and character encoding. These companies include Adobe, Apple Computer, Borland, Digital, Ecological Linguistics, GO Corp., Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Metaphor, Microsoft, NeXT, Novell, The Research Libraries Group, Sun Microsystems, Taligent, Unisys, and Xerox.
 The Unicode 1.0 standard contains more than 30,000 characters and encompasses most of the world's languages, as well as mathematical and scientific symbols. In 1991, the consortium published The Unicode Standard, Worldwide Character Encoding, Version 1.0, Volume 1. A second volume documenting the 21,000 characters of a unified encoding for Korean, Chinese and Japanese writing systems will be available in book stores by mid-summer. The new merged standard, ISO 10646, contains additional characters which the consortium will document as soon as possible. Unicode also plans to produce an updated Unicode Standard Version 1.1 by the end of the year.
 For more information on Unicode membership, call 415-961-4189, or write to Unicode Inc., 1965 Charleston Rd., Mountain View, CA 94043.
 -0- 7/1/92
 /CONTACT: Paula L. Larson of The Benjamin Group, 408-559-6090, for The Unicode Consortium/ CO: The Unicode Consortium ST: California IN: CPR SU:


RM -- SJ001 -- 5439 07/01/92 07:01 EDT
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Date:Jul 1, 1992
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