Press and Industry
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1 July 1997
Bill Gates

Chairman and CEO
Microsoft Corporation

Will the Net Require a Universal Language?
Because the Internet makes the world a smaller place, the value of having a common language is greatly increased. This enhances the importance of English as a second language. I don't, however, expect English to replace or even diminish any of today's primary languages. From a technical standpoint there is no reason that English works better than other languages on the Internet. A technology called Unicode, which can represent every character in every written language, is now used in the leading Web browsers. Unicode, which is widely endorsed by the computer industry, uses 16 rather than 8 bits of information to store each character. This lets Unicode represent up to 65,535 characters, making it possible to simultaneously handle all of the thousands of characters in languages such as Chinese and Japanese, to say nothing of English, Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Arabic, Hebrew and other tongues.

13 January 1997
Marc Andreessen

Senior VP of Technology
Netscape Communications Corporation

The *World Wide* Web
Marc Andreessen discusses how widespread support on the Web for the Unicode standard will be a significant step toward addressing the global communication challenge. With international Internet use increasing rapidly and multinational companies deploying intranets, content providers need tools that allow them to create content and applications in a variety of languages.

25 December 1996
Ashley Dunn

The New York Times

Language: The Final Frontier For the True Global Network
Language is the last frontier of the Internet. Over the years, the transmission of static images, video, sound and Latin text has been accomplished on the Web. But moving beyond the Latin-centric world of ASCII has remained a hurdle.

18 December 1996
Ashley Dunn

The New York Times

Drafting an Alphabet for the Digital Tradition
The transition from the oral to the written tradition has been the most powerful movement of the past two-and-a-half millennia. Now, the rise of the computer has placed us in the midst of a new movement that is striving to reconfigure the past once again. It is changing the ways that we transmit information and thus is changing the ways we perceive information.

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