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Multi-Byte v Unicode?

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I've just read MJP article "Working With Unicode in the Windows API" and Joel Spolsky's post on "Unicode". I understand what each said. I understand MJP's concept of the differences between coding practices. I understand where Spolsky's coming from in the use of unicode in font and HTML and internationalisation. What I don't understand is why my compiler (VC++ 2008) has the option of using either unicode or multi-byte character sets? Ok, so microsoft are pushing unicode ... so what? can someone point out why I should use unicode, if at all? what's the difference in terms of compiling my programs?

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You should use unicode if you think you will ever need to represent another language besides English. With extended ASCII you can represent more languages but still nowhere near what you'd want. Multi byte btw is usually Unicode as well, most commonly UTF8. What Windows uses with their W functions is a form of UTF16.

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