Re: Default rendering of Combining diacritical marks

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Thu Mar 09 2006 - 10:31:48 CST

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    From: "Antoine Leca" <>
    > I know doing the backporting ourselves is a clear and direct violation of
    > the licenses (at least those of the Vista source.) However, it seems to me
    > there is no additional royalty to be expected _if_ one sticks with the fonts
    > provided with XP, so the licensing conditions w.r.t. Monotype and others
    > seem to be clearable to me.

    The fonts may have been updated with a new licence coveringthe additional designs. A licence valid on WindowsXP only covers specific versions of these fonts, but do not extend to new versions of the same fonts.

    Vista is also still only a beta, and the final licencing terms may still not be complete, with further missing designs still being worked by the font foundry that is making this job for Microsoft.It may even happen that Vista will not ship the new designs by default, due to missing licencing terms, so these fonts would be shipped later with product updates. The font foundry may even insist that the fonts being madeavailable on new versions of Windows andnot legacy ones, to protect its work and add value to it (because the price for thesefonts will be included in the new Windows sales).

    So I won't anticipate on how Microsoft will negociate the licences with the font foundries. So if these fonts are only made available on Vista (what a bad name for reminds me too much the name of wellknown pirate and porn referal sites like Altalavista, or the name of the web search engine AltaVista which had good reputation until it was sold to Overture and featured with Yahoo's Babelfish web translation tool), I'm not sure it will be possible to install them on WindowsXP (but may be with newer versions of Office or Encarta, installed on XP).

    That leads to a good question: why doesn't Microsoft sells a separate product for its best fonts (in a package that also incldues updated rendering engines such as Uniscribe, and updated Unicode properties tables hidden within system libraries) to use them on older versions of Windows? These sales could be made also available to third party software makers that could buy a distribution licence for this Microsoft package.

    With such option, most people would be able get better Unicode support on all Windows platforms (nothing prevents this package installer to include a GenuineWindows check prior to installation, so the package would only install on Windows, so this would exclude installation for Linux, Solaris, or MacOSX, whose distributors would have to negociate licences for these fonts on their systems).

    Before that, why not using the excellent SIL's fonts?

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