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Submission + - Microsoft sponsors new Web font standard (

suraj.sun writes: With a surprise boost from Microsoft, the promise of rich typography on the Web just got a big step closer to reality.

Microsoft's involvement emerged Monday with sponsorship of a newer effort at the World Wide Web Consortium to standardize Web-based fonts with technology called the Web Open Font Format (WOFF). It's a fresh indicator of Microsoft's serious engagement with new Web standards.

"Given the increasing interest in WOFF from browser implementors, tool creators, and type foundries [it] is expected that WOFF will soon serve as that single, interoperable format and that other implementors will add support over time," the W3C's WebFonts Working Group said of the move.

Microsoft's IE9, though available only in a half-baked preview edition so far, has sent ripples throughout the browser world as a product that restores Microsoft. It's not yet clear whether IE9 will support WOFF, and Microsoft didn't comment on its plans, but the signs are good it will.

For comparison, Microsoft joined a Web graphics standard effort called Scalable Vector Graphics in January, and a few weeks later, the IE9 prototype emerged with strong support for SVG. And note that hardware-accelerated, high-quality fonts are one of the front-and-center features of IE9.

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Microsoft sponsors new Web font standard

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