Victor Wynne

Windows 3.1 turns 30

Benj Edwards:

In 1990, Windows 3.0 had brought plenty of improvements to Windows, but a particular weak spot was its reliance on bitmap fonts that couldn’t scale smoothly. That left an opportunity for products like Adobe Type Manager to furnish scalable PostScript fonts for desktop publishing in Windows.

To loosen Adobe’s potential stranglehold on computer fonts, Apple developed the TrueType scalable font system, and Microsoft licensed and adopted it in Windows 3.1. With a stable of built-in high-quality fonts and without the need to license fonts from Adobe, TrueType opened the door for easier desktop publishing in Windows—and also made Windows more competitive with Macs.

Microsoft licensing TrueType from Apple in this release was news to me. Funny to see them come together in an attempt to thwart Adobe back in the day.