News
News
3/6/2006
01:55 PM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%
Repost This

Microsoft's IE7 Ignores Windows Setting

You'll be seeing Microsoft's ClearType font rendering technology in Internet Explorer 7, even if you deliberately turned it off in Windows. It's a feature that users didn't know they needed, says Microsoft.

Microsoft is defending its decision to turn on its ClearType font rendering technology in Internet Explorer 7 even if users have switched it off system-wide.

ClearType, which debuted with Windows XP, is designed to make text more readable on LCD screens. By default, it's disabled in Windows, but Microsoft's IE 7 team has decided to enable it for the browser, even if the user has not turned on the feature Windows-wide.

"The decision to turn ClearType on by default in IE is unusual," acknowledged Bill Hill, a Microsoft researcher, in a posting to the IE team's blog. "But [it] was made because solid research over the past few years has shown conclusively that it improves reading, the task at which IE users spend most of their time."

Hill cited studies that claimed ClearType improved word recognition, reading speed, and reading comprehension, and defended the decision to enable ClearType by saying that users didn't know how to turn it on themselves.

"It certainly is unusual that IE is not respecting the system ClearType setting, but the problem is that most users do not know about features that are not turned on by default," Hill said. "We've found that a large percentage of Windows XP users don't know about ClearType, or how to turn it on.

"We believe the benefit of a 5 percent reading speed improvement offsets the minor annoyance for the few users that don't like ClearType."

Users commenting on Hill's blog generally took Microsoft to task for the decision.

"Can you imagine what would happen if every program started maintaining their own set of ClearType and other effects settings instead of using the system supplied values?" wrote a user identified as "matt."

"Frankly, IE 7 should follow the system wide setting and leave it at that," added "Xepol." "You want people to know about ClearType, find another venue to push it."

ClearType can be disabled in IE 7 Beta 2 Preview via the Tools/Internet Options/Advanced dialog. To turn ClearType off, uncheck the box "Use ClearType" under the Multimedia section. Unlike Windows XP, the upcoming Windows Vista will enable ClearType by default.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
The Agile Archive
The Agile Archive
When it comes to managing data, donít look at backup and archiving systems as burdens and cost centers. A well-designed archive can enhance data protection and restores, ease search and e-discovery efforts, and save money by intelligently moving data from expensive primary storage systems.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Government, May 2014
NIST's cyber-security framework gives critical-infrastructure operators a new tool to assess readiness. But will operators put this voluntary framework to work?
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Audio Interviews
Archived Audio Interviews
GE is a leader in combining connected devices and advanced analytics in pursuit of practical goals like less downtime, lower operating costs, and higher throughput. At GIO Power & Water, CIO Jim Fowler is part of the team exploring how to apply these techniques to some of the world's essential infrastructure, from power plants to water treatment systems. Join us, and bring your questions, as we talk about what's ahead.