Unicode in Windows 2000

John McConnell - Microsoft Corporation

Intended Audience: Manager, Software Engineer, Systems Analyst, Marketer
Session Level: Intermediate

This paper describes the new globalization features shipping in Windows 2000, especially those related to Unicode. The first part describes the new scripts, languages and locales supported, including the new and improved support for the languages of South Asia, the Middle East and the countries of the former Soviet Union. We then describe some of the underlying changes to the system that enabled these improvements, including enhancements to Uniscribe and OpenType. The second part of the paper covers the support for Unicode surrogates and shows how the existing NT Unicode base greatly facilitated the addition of surrogate support. We also briefly discuss likely future directions for OS surrogate support and explain why we believe UTF-16 is the preferred encoding for the future. The final part of the paper covers the integration of the language support into a single worldwide binary and shows how we have provided features such as the MultiLanguage UI, which would be difficult or impossible without the Unicode support already present in the OS. In conclusion, we will explain why we believe integral and pervasive Unicode support is necessary to building a truly global and modern operating system.

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30 October 1999, Webmaster