Joseph D. Becker of Xerox Corporation, Rochester, New York, Lee Collins (also at Xerox) and Mark Davis of Apple developed a universal character set. Becker coined the word "Unicode" to cover the project in his report, Unicode 88:
"This document is a draft proposal for the design of an international/multilingual text character coding system, tentatively called Unicode.
"Unicode is intended to address the need for a workable, reliable world text encoding. Unicode could be roughly described as 'wide-body ASCII' that has been stretched to 16 bits to encompass the characters of all the world's living languages. In a properly engineered design, 16 bits per character are more than sufficient for this purpose.
"In the Unicode system, a simple unambiguous fixed-length character encoding is integrated into a coherent overall architecture of text processing. The design aims to be flexible enough to support many disparate (vendor-specific) implementations of text processing software.
"A general scheme for character code allocations is proposed (and materials for making specific individual character code assignments are well at hand), but specific code assignments are not proposed here. Rather, it is hoped that this document will evoke interest from many organizations, which could cooperate in perfecting the design and in determining the final character code assignments" (http://www.unicode.org/history/unicode88.pdf, accessed 01-29-2010).