S. Somasegar is the corporate vice president of the Developer Division at Microsoft. Learn more about Somasegar.
Recently, I got asked by a number of people about what we do to enable our products to be world-ready.
We had two areas of focus for globalization and localization support in Visual Studio 2005. The first area is what I refer to as “worldwide enabling”, that is, adding support that any user can build an application in any language supported by Windows and the .NET Framework. The second area is localization – what features can we add to our product to make it easier to build localized applications.
Windows is continually updating the number of languages and locale data with each release, and sometimes adds new languages in language packs. Our goal is to ensure that Visual Studio will be able to handle every new language and locale that is added, and that our customers will be able to use their own language in Visual Studio and build applications that display any language. Additionally, we wanted Visual Studio to run on the Multilingual User Interface (MUI) version of Windows. To this end, we added more Unicode support in than the previous version, and customers can now run any language version of VS on Windows MUI. You can even install two language versions on a single machine and switch between UI languages. We’ve added support for Unicode Supplementary Characters or Surrogate pairs in many areas, which is important for language which have characters which cannot fit into the traditional Unicode range.