Making software that accommodates differences in language, culture, and hardware is called internationalization. The goal of internationalization is to present users with a consistent look, feel, and functionality across different language editions of a product. Users expect localized software to support the same basic set of features that the original-language edition of the product does, and they expect it to achieve the same level of quality. They also expect different language editions to interact smoothly with one another.

Internationalization is made up of a collection of features that support general needs and language-specific needs.

Microsoft® Windows® CE .NET provides support for numerous character codes, as well as linguistic and cultural conventions through Unicode and national language support (NLS). Unicode is a universal character encoding system, while NLS carries information on date, time, calendar, number, and currency formats. NLS also provides sorting and character-type information for all the locales supported by the operating system (OS).

In addition to character and locale codes, internationalization includes support for a handwriting recognition engine that is extremely useful when working with East Asian languages and the Multilingual User Interface (MUI), a feature that makes it possible for users to switch the language and locale of the user interface (UI).

In addition, internationalization spans a variety of language-specific features. These features support several East Asian language Input Methods (IM) and Input Method Editors (IME) that are uniquely designed for a specific language. East Asian languages require IMEs in order to input characters from a keyboard or stylus tablet.

The following topics discuss some of the features that can help you internationalize your application:

 Last updated on Friday, April 09, 2004

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