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New Office font: Microsoft asks users for their opinion


The event is about as rare as earthquakes in the British Isles: Microsoft is looking for a new font for its Office programs - and asks users for their opinion.

Enlarge image

Also in the running: This is what the Bierstadt font looks like

Photo: Microsoft

A magnitude 5 earthquake is measured in the UK roughly every 10 to 20 years, says the British Geological Survey.

This means that these major geological events are about as rare as changing the standard font in Microsoft's Office programs.

The last time there was such an adjustment was in 2007.

Back then, when the rather hapless Windows Vista and the hugely successful iPhone made their debut, Microsoft replaced the Verdana font, which had been the standard in Microsoft products for eleven years, with Calibri, the current standard.

Calibri has done a good job, according to the Microsoft 365 blog, but now it is time to "develop further".

The Windows group is apparently not sure what this development should look like.

He makes a handful of suggestions and promises users that they can participate in the decision on which font will be the next standard via social media.

Microsoft posted a screenshot on Twitter showing the five contenders who were sent into the race.

They are called Grandview, Seaford, Skeena, Tenorite, and Bierstadt (yes, really).

They are all characterized by their sans serif design in the tradition of popular computer fonts.

You could say they have no frills.

The best-known serif font is probably the Times New Roman, which was the standard in many writing programs for years.

The fine ends on their letters make running text easy to read, which is why it is still popular in newspaper printing today.

"We seldom give much thought to them"

The more matter-of-fact sans serif fonts that became popular with the Bauhaus are often used for signs and notices because of their clarity.

And today on the Internet too.

Variants such as Verdana specially designed for this purpose are characterized by good legibility on screens.

And sometimes also because they seem rather inconspicuous in the absence of any ornamentation.

Microsoft's design team writes that this is exactly one of the properties that the new standard font is targeting: "We seldom give it much thought, and that is exactly where its greatest gift lies." Only when there is a font seemingly seamlessly integrated into the background, the user can concentrate fully on his creative thoughts.

The thoughts of a few prominent commentators on the Microsoft tweet, however, do not revolve objectively around completely different things than constructive criticism of the five proposed fonts.

Journalist and Microsoft expert Mary Jo Foley, for example, seems to have stuck with the word beer when reading Microsoft's suggestions.

Users who want to give Microsoft more substantial input on the font issue are free to download the five fonts from Microsoft's cloud font library now.

The prerequisite for this, however, is an active Office 365 subscription.

The design team does not provide any specific information in its blog post about when the new standard font will be selected and introduced.

According to "The Verge", the switch is planned for 2022.


Source: spiegel

All tech articles on 2021-05-02

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