Cleartype Team - Talking about new Fonts on Longhorn (Happy Birthday Video #4)

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What is the one thing looked at more than anything else on your computer?


You never think of them, right? Well, that's by design: good fonts aren't noticed for the most part but they are important in how usable your computer is and how easy it is to use for a long period of time and how productive you'll be on it.

The Cleartype team, which makes both fonts as well as the technology to display them better on your screen, were hanging out in the hall the other day so we turned on our camera and started talking.

You get to see what happens next. Here's who you are meeting in this video: Greg Hitchcock (Architect); Geraldine Wade (Program Manager); Paul Linnerud (Software Design Engineer); Kevin Larson (Researcher); Michael Duggan (Program Manager).

Oh, and that Japanese font is stunning on Longhorn. But more on Longhorn in future videos.

By the way, make sure you tune your Cleartype for best results.



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The Discussion

  • User profile image

    I would like some more attention to mono-spaced fonts. As a developer, this is what I am using all day.
    Currently I am using Andale Mono from IE 5, this is much better as the standard Courier New.

  • User profile image
    gvs wrote:
    I would like some more attention to mono-spaced fonts.

    Second that!
  • User profile image
    Where can we get that book? Big Smile
  • User profile image
    androidi wrote:
    gvs wrote: I would like some more attention to mono-spaced fonts.

    Second that!

    I read that the new set of fonts for Longhorn will contain a fixed font called Consolas. I don't know if it will be a full family (Regular, Bold, Italic, Bold Italic) or a single font as Lucida Console is now. The problem is that with a single font you cannot really use it with Visual Studio's syntax highlighting when bold face is used for keywords. A lack of proper Bold variation of the font you use breaks source code column alignment. To see what I mean, try using VS with Courier New (nice columns) and Lucida Console (ugly, columns broken).
  • User profile image
    Yay! Greg finally made it to Channel9!

  • User profile image

    There's more info about the Longhorn fonts at

    However, the author gives only passing info about Consolas, the mono-spaced font.

  • User profile image
    As someone who's been given a sneak peek at Consolas, I can tell you it is the full family (Regular, Bold, Italic, Bold Italic) Here are some of the specifics (based on my reading of Now Read This:The Microsoft Cleartype Font Collection):

    Consolas is designed by Lucas de Groot, and has the following characteristics:

    ¨      Sans Serif

    ¨      Intended for use in programming environments and other circumstances where a monospaced font is specified

    ¨      All characters have the same width, like old typewriters

    ¨      Good choice for personal and business correspondence

    ¨      More comfortable reading of extended text on-screen

    ¨      Good for programmers setting code (its core purpose)

  • User profile image
    Mackz: send Geraldine Wade a request with your address. gwade @
  • User profile image
    I think its really kool that these people have perfection in fonts.  Before its mainly the people who handle big projects like windows itself.  But now we meet the people who make all our fonts.  Very Impresive.
  • User profile image
    Dean_186 - Thief...your stole my avatar!
  • User profile image
    Thx scobleizer Smiley
  • User profile image
    scobleizer wrote:
    Mackz: send Geraldine Wade a request with your address. gwade @
    Thanks Robert! I sent in a request as well. =)
  • User profile image
    Deactivated User

    Comment removed at user's request.

  • User profile image
    I think part of the reason that serif types are used for literary books is an aesthetic reason, because it looks more formal and crafted; while technical books often have sans serif types which are crisp and clear looking. The idea of using an OS themed with a serif type is strange to most people, and the idea of reading literature in sans serif is also strange. I'm sure there are also connected technical reasons for which font is easier in each situation--that is, if you are looking at a group of words only I think sans serif is more instantly readable; and its true what the typographers said that serif is easy to read in lines. I think though that these technical aspects are also connected to the aesthetic aspects, the type styles just seem to have different appropriateness to them, connected to the technical aspects.

    By the way,---I've found Frutiger Linotype to be a font that already exists which looks good both on screen and in print.

    One of my favorite type foundries is Emigre ( -- look at the font Filosofia, its one of the most beautiful serif typefaces around. The Base 9/Base 12 are good technical fonts, and Base Monospace for code. Then of course FontFont ( has created some important fonts like Scala/Scala Sans.

    I'm also recently interested in different styles of handwriting, if you look at each century in history there is change in handwriting styles; and its interesting the cultural and aesthetic reasons handwriting styles change
  • User profile image
    Tom Servo
    Are these fonts being put into the first beta of Longhorn, or do they only ship with the full Aero UI, as in beta 2?
  • User profile image
    Iain Norman

    I've been trying to use ClearType on XP and I've never really been happy with it in general.

    The Cleartype used in Office XP read views and panes though seems much improved, one would expect Longhorn to look better again I guess.

    There was an interesting somebody @ on .NET TV recently where Bill Hill was interviewed where he talks about ClearType lots.

  • User profile image
    Tom: I think you might be suprised by what ships in beta 1.

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