[Unicode] Press

Unicode Character Database 4.0 Released

Mountain View, CA, April 24, 2003 -- The Unicode® Consortium announces a significant update of its widely-used Unicode Character Database. Version 4.0 defines over 96,000 characters for the languages of the world, and provides detailed properties and algorithms for computer systems. The current release contains all the information needed to update software to support the latest characters.

As part of this release, key sections of the forthcoming book, The Unicode Standard, Version 4.0, are being posted online in advance. Simultaneously, all of the annexes to Unicode 4.0 are being made available on the Unicode website. All online publications of the Unicode Consortium are available at no cost.

As a significant step towards the digital preservation of world heritage, this new version encodes characters for Linear B and other ancient Mediterranean alphabets. At the same time, it expands support for modern minority languages. This removes a major barrier that has prevented people from using their own languages on computers.

The Unicode Standard, Version 4.0 (ISBN 0-321-18578-1) will be published as a book by Addison-Wesley in September of 2003. For more information about Unicode 4.0 or the Unicode Character Database, see http://www.unicode.org/versions/Unicode4.0.0/.

About the Unicode Consortium

The Unicode Consortium is a non-profit organization founded to develop, extend and promote use of the Unicode Standard, which specifies the representation of text in modern software products and standards. The consortium works very closely with the INCITS L2 committee (http://incits.org/incits/tc_home/l2.htm) and with ISO/IEC JTC 1 SC2.

The Unicode Standard is a major component in the globalization of e-business, as the marketplace continues to demand technologies that enhance seamless data interchange throughout companies' extended -- and often international -- network of suppliers, customers and partners. Unicode is the default text representation in XML, an important open standard being rapidly adopted throughout e-business technology.

The membership of the consortium represents a broad spectrum of corporations and organizations in the computer and information processing industry. Full members (the highest level) are: Adobe Systems, Apple Computer, Basis Technology, Government of India Ministry of Information Technology, Government of Pakistan National Language Authority, HP, IBM, Justsystem, Microsoft, Oracle, PeopleSoft, RLG, SAP, Sun Microsystems, Sybase.

Membership in the Unicode Consortium is open to organizations and individuals anywhere in the world who support the Unicode Standard and wish to assist in its extension and implementation. For additional information on Unicode, please contact the Unicode Consortium (http://www.unicode.org/).