RE: What is MBCS ?

From: Chris Pratley (
Date: Wed Apr 14 1999 - 19:40:08 EDT

In addition to the comments by Markus, I would encourage you to look at, which gives some information on how and
why to write Unicode applications, and how to do that on both NT and Win9x.

Chris Pratley
Microsoft Office Program Manager

-----Original Message-----
From: Patrick []
Sent: April 14, 1999 3:00 AM
To: Unicode List
Subject: What is MBCS ?


I can figure out the whole picture about Unicode : I have been working on
it for quite some time now ;-)

ISO 10646 relationship with Unicode,
What is the BMP,
UTF-16 extension mechanism ....

And the list goes on and on ...

But, despite numerous help files and MSDN articles, I have been unable to
find the same information about MBCS, all the articles explain how to use
it, how to program using MBCS TCHAR etc .. but none of them give a proper
history/definition context.

So, as of now I am still unable to answer to this simple question : Why
should we use Unicode which fully works only under Windows NT rather than
MBCS which works with all platforms ...

In other words : what are the "weaknesses" of MBCS compared to Unicode, how
was MBCS made up, what does it include ? is it going to be present in
Windows 2000 ?

Thanks in advance for your precious and prompt answer

Patrick Regnouf-Dardennes
Software Engineer
Symbian plc
Web :
E-mail :

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