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Computers, fundamentally, just deal with numbers. They store letters and other characters by assigning a number for each one.

Before Unicode was invented, there were hundreds of different encoding systems for assigning these numbers. No single encoding could contain enough characters. For example, the European Union alone requires several different encodings to cover all its languages. Even for a single language like English no single encoding is adequate for all the letters, punctuation, and technical symbols in common use.

Unicode provides a unique number for every character, no matter what the platform, no matter what the program, no matter what the language. Unicode is the single universal character set for text that enables the interchange, processing, storage and display of text in many languages. The Unicode standard serves as a foundation for the globalization of modern software. Making use of software that supports Unicode to develop or run business applications will enable us to reduce our development and deployment time and costs, enabling us to expand into new markets more quickly.

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