The day Microsoft stabbed me in the eyes
I love Microsoft. I love Windows. I love Windows Phone. I've been a user of Windows from the start. My unwavering loyalty has probably got to do with the fact that back in the day OSX wasn't polished enough, and Macs were always too expensive. Also I didn't know Apple was as cool as one day it would be.
I loved Windows XP. I didn't like Vista. I really can't say why though, because I never had any problems with it (unlike many people who couldn't stop complaining about it). But I loved Windows 7. I thought it was the ultimate piece of software in the world. It never crashed on me once. It did everything that I expected it to do. It just increased my respect for Microsoft many times over. Which is why this post hurts me so much.
In October of last year I had to buy a new computer. Ultrabooks were all the rage and I did get a high spec version of the HP Envy 6t series (3rd gen Core i5, 8GB ram, 32GB SSD with 500GB HDD). But there was one problem. It was the screen. It was a 1366x768 display and after reading a book on the Retina iPad, coming back and looking at this display would make me cringe. But I stuck with it. After all, the machine was awesome right?
All that changed though. It went from being bad to worse. But a little background first.
I was so excited about Windows 8 I bought 3 copies on the first day. One for myself, and two for my brothers. I upgraded to it as soon as it finished downloading. Big mistake. In 4 years I had never seen Windows BSOD on me. It had worked perfectly. But before I could even test drive Windows 8, there I was staring at a blue screen which was causing a burning sensation in the pit of my stomach. I didn't know what had happened. So I reverted back to Windows 7. But I wasn't gonna give up so easily. After I had reloaded Windows 7 on the computer, I again upgraded to Windows 8. I had HP tech support on hold to make sure I didn't do anything wrong. We were able to find the bug before it could cause more damage. The Intel RAID drivers for the SSD weren't optimized for Windows 8 yet so I had to uninstall its drivers. Well so much for being an ultrabook.
But the real problem started once I started using Windows 8 on a regular basis. I first noticed the difference when I looked at my blog. One day on Google Chrome, while I was going through my blog I noticed the fonts looked a little...different. I fired up IE10 to check out how they were rendering on it and my eyes almost bled out. There was so much blurriness, it physically hurt my eyes. Apparently Windows 8 doesn't use the conventional method of ClearType tech anymore. They've got a grayscale system which I don't fully understand. But my point is once I closed IE10 and went back to Chrome, I could see how jaggy the fonts looked. So ugly. So desperately ugly. Now I am no designer, but I am anal about graphic design. I love beautiful typography and here it was, just ruined for me.
I did some research. Part of that research I've already mentioned. The other part was that Firefox and Chrome are still using the old Windows font rendering APIs which means they're a little better when it comes to rendering fonts, but that's still not good enough. Relative to IE10 they appear to render unbelievably jaggy fonts. Microsoft has ruined typography which is a shame because their loved Segoe UI font is simply beautiful. Windows 8 has ruined the internet for me. I know how some of you will say I should've bought a 1080p display machine, but the truth of the matter is if I could afford a $1200 laptop, I would've bought the Macbook Pro.
And the reason for buying the Macbook is simply because of the way fonts are rendered in OSX. They look so much more beautiful and nearer to what you'd get if you printed those fonts out on paper. They're weighted a bit more heavily than Windows and even on low PPI displays (13 inch Macbook with 1280x800 display), they just look a thousand times better.
I love Windows 8. I love how fast it is. How smooth and fluid it is (once all the quirks were removed of course). But the typography, I simply cannot stand it anymore. (They've also ruined Office 2013 with the same font rendering system as IE10). Most of us cannot afford a 1080p display right now. If we could, we would. If only Microsoft would implement the same font rendering system as OSX (or even Ubuntu). Life would be so much better. So much better.