Fonts missing in action

It?s hard to remember when Microsoft introduced their set of typefaces to include with their software offerings. And because Apple always installed Internet Explorer along with the OS itself Mac fans always took it for granted that they?d always have these fonts.

Apple users: Say goodbye to Arial & Verdana, Georgia &Trebuchet.

In some future OS X release Apple will no longer include the now almost defunct Internet Explorer. And if the user hasn?t bought any of Microsoft?s software they will have to do without these fonts. But so what?

99.9% of all websites use one or more of the MS fontset and the absence of these fonts will have browser?s coughing up something else. Furthermore a font like Verdana is one of the most used fonts on the web because it increases usability due to being so readable. Never mind the continuity across platforms that would benefit brand recognition.

But unless Apple get themselves a licence for these fonts Apple users will be stuck with webpages that are less usable then those viewed on the PC. No matter which browser they use. One solution that comes to mind is to select suitable replacements. Anytime the OS comes across a font that is not loaded it could see if can load it or replace it with one listed in a kind of substitution list. No Arial? Serve up Helvetica. No Verdana? Serve up Vera. And so on.

Only the future can tell what will happen, but as usual it may not turn out too much of an issue.  It does get everybody in an uproar though, and that?s probably a good thing. There?s nothing like a riot to get things sorted.

This issue has also been covered by Todd Dominey and Typographica.

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