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Microsoft treatment of Netscape fonts

  I thank Robert Hettinga for forwarding this interesting note regarding
  MS's Plus program's interaction with Netscape's Communicator.  (The note
  first appeared on the well known RISKS forum).  Jamie
  from RISKS 19.41.
  Date: Fri, 10 Oct 1997 21:41:18 -0700 (PDT)
  From: "Bryan O'Sullivan" <bos@serpentine.com>
  Subject: Risks of installing Internet Explorer 4.0
  I just downloaded and installed Microsoft Internet Exploder 4.0 onto
  my PC running Windows 95 at home.  Among the optional features that
  come with this release are a few tidbits that were included with
  Plus!, the mostly-useless set of bells and whistles that was packaged
  separately from Windows 95.
  Two of these features are opaque window manipulation (when you move or
  resize a window, the entire window moves in real time, rather than a
  rubberband representation being tweaked) and anti-aliasing of large
  fonts.  The anti-aliasing feature is quite useful; it makes fonts in
  large point sizes noticeably less pixelated.  However, in this feature
  lies a small, and somewhat malicious, piece of code.
  This snippet of code apparently checks to see whether it is being
  asked to render a font by the Netscape Navigator browser (or, indeed,
  any component of the Communicator 4.x suite).  If it is, it gives back
  a plain old jagged-edged font; otherwise, in every instance I have
  been able to check, it gives back an anti-aliased font.
  This appears to be a clear instance of discriminatory coding on the
  part of Microsoft, and is intended, one presumes, to make Navigator
  look somewhat cruddy in comparison with MSIE (not to mention all of
  the other software on a system).  It begs a troubling question: what
  other features were included in MSIE 4.0 that were intended to, in
  some sense, impede the software of Microsoft's competitors?
  --- end forwarded text
  James Love | Center for Study of Responsive Law
  P.O. Box 19367 | Washington, DC 20036 | http://www.cptech.org
  voice 202.387.8030 | fax 202.234.5176 | love@cptech.org