Re: New MS Mac Office and Unicode?

From: Peter Kirk (
Date: Wed Jan 14 2004 - 08:02:33 EST

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    On 13/01/2004 18:01, Han-Yi Shaw wrote:

    > ...
    > As noted below, Office 2004 for Macintosh will support the input,
    > display, and basic editing of Unicode characters associated with the
    > following keyboards (tentative list):
    > Australian, Austrian, Belgian, Brazilian, British, Bulgarian,
    > Canadian, Catalan, Cherokee, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese
    > (Traditional), Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian,
    > Faroese, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Korean, Hawaiian, Hungarian,
    > Icelandic, Inuktitut, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Latvian, Lithuanian,
    > Macedonian, Norwegian, Northern Sami, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian,
    > Russian, Serbian, Serbian-Latin, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish,
    > Swiss French, Swiss German, Turkish, Ukrainian, Welsh.
    This tentative list doesn't look to be very much of an improvement on
    the current situation. Chinese and Japanese have been added, plus
    Cherokee and Inuktitut for some strange reason (I'm sure they are not
    more important commercially than Arabic). I thought Korean hadn't, then
    found it out of alphabetical order. But otherwise it looks as if Office
    2004 will still be restricted to just some of the ISO 8859 character
    sets and to languages which use them. That means (others have pointed
    out some of these) no support for Arabic script, Hebrew script (so I
    guess the Israeli government's boycott of Microsoft will continue),
    Indian scripts, SE Asian scripts including Thai, central Asian Latin or
    Cyrillic scripts, Ethiopic, Syriac, Armenian, Georgian, IPA, etc etc.
    Not all of these exceptions can be justified on the grounds of
    complexity e.g. for Central Asia just a handful of extra characters are
    required with no complex properties - the main problem is that they are
    not in already well defined code pages.

    But then it is hardly in Microsoft's commercial interests to enourage
    use of MacOS in regions like SE Asia where Windows is now dominant,
    although strongly challenged by Linux.

    Peter Kirk (personal) (work)

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