RE: FW: Unicode Support in Win95

From: Lori Brownell (
Date: Thu Jan 23 1997 - 20:36:58 EST

>-----Original Message-----
>From: Glen C. Perkins []
>NT 5.0 sounds wonderful, but NT is a developer OS. We developers
>eventually have to ship what we develop to mainstream users, but
>Microsoft positions Win9X as the mainstream OS. I don't see how
>improvements in NT5 alone are going to help me sell more multilingual
>products to mainstream Windows users. With Microsoft's non-US revenues
>at 60% and rising, and with the Internet suddenly bringing mainstream
>users around the world face to face, I think multilingual capabilities
>will be increasingly sought after in mainstream Windows applications on
>*the* mainstream Windows OS, Win9X.
>[Lori Brownell] It is unlikely that you will see this type of multilingual
>support added to Windows 95, although I won't say that it will never occur,
>because I've learned to never say never about this type of thing. However,
>to say that NT is only a developer OS is incorrect. Windows NT Workstation
>is our preferred corporate desktop platform today and just as Windows NT
>Server is being improved and tuned to the server and enterprise market, with
>things like clustering, we are also working on improving and tuning flavors
>of NT for the desktop, mobile and home market with things like plug-n-play,
>increased h/w support and power management.
>Until the release of these language packs, there was no apparent benefit
>to the end user in the claim that a product was "unicode-based". Now
>there is some reason to hope that we will begin to see a variety of
>mainstream applications, and not just those written by Microsoft ;-) ,
>that claim to support the display (and input in the not-too-distant
>future) of most languages, provided the user simply downloads and
>installs the appropriate MS language pack.
>[Lori Brownell] I also hope that ISVs, other than Microsoft, will see
>benefits in writing Unicode applications for Windows. I know that I am
>personally enjoying our new Unicode based Office97 product a lot, especially
>when doing presentations for the Unicode Conference. :-)
>Since Word97 already supports the display of mixed CJK scripts on US
>Win95 (according to Murray), I would like to request that you add this
>capability to Microsoft's Java Virtual Machine. Specifically, developers
>who develop in pure Java would be able to do a
>g.drawString("<some Japanese text>", 5, 5);
>and get Japanese output on any Win95 machine with the Japanese language
>pack installed. (The input of the Japanese text could be done by using
>Visual J++ on a WinNT 5.0 machine, for example, as a development
>platform, but the resulting app would run on any PC with the necessary
>language pack installed.) Mainstream programmers would be shielded from
>the intricacies of: X works on NT, but not Win95, Y works on 95 with
>weird workarounds, Z hasn't yet been implemented...etc. As long as you
>write to the Java APIs, it works cleanly on both NT and 95 via the
>appropriate language pack.
>[Lori Brownell] The Java team has said that they will post more information
>on this very topic soon, so stay tuned.
>Your press release yesterday gave me, and several fellow Java
>developers, reason to be hopeful. Specifically, at
>you (Microsoft) said:
> "Enhancements to the Industry-Leading
> Microsoft Virtual Machine for Java
> Microsoft also outlined for developers its
> upcoming plans for the industry-leading Microsoft
> virtual machine. These include continued
> performance leadership, capabilities-based
> security, interoperability support for ActiveX
> and Java Bean software components, a
> ---------> comprehensive UNICODE implementation for
> ---------> global applications, and support for all the
> cross-platform capabilities of the Java
> Development Kit (JDK) version 1.1."
>Many of us would like to know whether this refers to being able to use
>Unicode within our standalone Java apps and output directly through the
>language packs. ("Directly" meaning not via a call to native code or an
>ActiveX component.) If so, this is great news that I would be happy to
>Also, Lori, I belong to the world's largest Windows developer "user
>group" and the world's largest Java developer user group, where I'm
>putting together an "Internationalization" SIG, and as far as I know
>*none* of us will be able to go to Germany to hear what Microsoft has in
>store for us. Would it be possible for you to record your presentations
>and put them on Microsoft's website (Shockwave, RealAudio) or at least
>put up a text summary of your plans and a bit of Q&A on a webpage? Your
>local (Silicon Valley) representatives will admit to having heard of
>unicode, and that several MS products are based on it, but they're not
>quite sure what that means. As for future plans, the consensus is
>"continued improvement in order to supply whatever support is needed as
>soon as we reasonably can." Uh-huh. A webpage from someone like you who
>really knows would be a great resource.
>[Lori Brownell] I have had a number of people request this and I will post
>information from the conference on the web when I return from Mainz. Once
>this happens, I'll email the location to this alias so you are all informed.
>It's unfortunate that our silicon valley staff is not up on Unicode and our
>products that use it. My team is trying hard to change this.

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