[Unicode] Press

Unicode Version 5.0 Now Available

Mountain View, CA, November 1st, 2006 – The Unicode® Consortium is proud to announce that The Unicode Standard, Version 5.0, published by Addison-Wesley, is now available at booksellers everywhere. This comprehensive and official reference book is a major enhancement of the Unicode Standard -- the fifth edition of the Unicode Consortium's universal character encoding. “For more than a decade, Unicode has been a foundation for many Microsoft products and technologies;” said Bill Gates, Chairman of Microsoft Corporation, “Unicode Standard Version 5.0 will help us deliver important new benefits to users.”

Reflecting 15 years of worldwide implementation experience, this version offers significant improvements over previous versions—with hundreds of pages of new information and more than a thousand pages of updated text, figures, tables, definitions, and conformance clauses. Version 5.0 provides clear and practical answers to common questions raised by implementers of global software.

“Apple has been supporting Unicode since the beginning,” said Bertrand Serlet, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Software Engineering. “We’re thrilled to see the growing adoption of Unicode and welcome Unicode 5.0 as a new milestone in the definition of the standard.”

For the first time, the book contains the full text of the Unicode Standard Annexes, which specify vital processes such as text normalization and identifier parsing that ensure reliable text interchange between programs and on the Web. In the words of Guy L. Steele Jr., Sun Fellow at Sun Microsystems, Inc., “Version 5.0 of the Unicode Standard is the most comprehensive and thoroughly documented version yet.”

The Unicode Standard provides the basis for processing, storage and seamless data interchange of text data in any language for all modern software and information technology protocols. “Google’s objective is to organize the world’s information and to make it accessible,” said Vint Cerf, Chief Internet Evangelist for Google. “Unicode plays a central role in this effort because it is the principal means by which content in every language can be represented in a form that can be processed by software.” Unicode Version 5.0 provides a uniform and universal architecture and encoding for all languages of the world, with nearly 100,000 characters encoded.

Unicode Version 5.0 provides the foundation for an increasingly global information technology industry based on the World Wide Web and XML. Sir Tim Berners-Lee, KBE, Web inventor and Director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) said “The path W3C follows to making text on the Web truly global is Unicode. Unicode is fundamental to the work of the W3C; it is a component of the W3C Specifications, from the early days of HTML, to the growing XML Family of specifications and beyond.”

In addition to XML, Unicode is required by modern standards such as Java, C#, ECMAScript (JavaScript), LDAP, CORBA, and WML, and is the official way to implement ISO/IEC 10646. Makoto Murata of the International University of Japan said, “XML software tools are well internationalized, thanks to XML’s adoption of Unicode. The addition of JIS X 0213 characters to Unicode 5.0 provides the characters required by the Japanese e-government.”

For additional details on Version 5.0, see the Unicode Consortium's website at http://www.unicode.org/book/aboutbook.html. For more information on the Unicode Standard, please visit http://www.unicode.org. The latest features of Unicode Version 5.0 will be showcased at the 30th Internationalization and Unicode Conference (IUC)  on November 17-19, 2006 in Washington, D.C.

About The Unicode Consortium

The Unicode Consortium is a non-profit organization founded to develop, extend and promote use of the Unicode Standard and related globalization standards.

The membership of the consortium represents a broad spectrum of corporations and organizations in the computer and information processing industry. Members are: Adobe Systems, Apple Computer, Basis Technology, Denic e.G., Google, Government of India, Government of Pakistan, HP, IBM, Justsystems, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, Sun Microsystems, Sybase, The University of California at Berkeley, Yahoo! plus well over a hundred Associate, Liaison, and Individual members.

For more information, please contact the Unicode Consortium.

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