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With the advent of optical character recognition (OCR) systems, a need arose for typefaces whose characters could be easily distinguished by machines developed to read text. Unfortunately, a face that sufficiently distinguished between '1', 'i' and 'l' for the machine tended to look crude, if not just plain ugly. OCR-A was such a face. OCR-B was subsequently designed as a standard typeface that would be adequately readable by both human and machine. OCR-B is still the face that many OCR readers are happiest with. It makes a good face for advertising that needs a 'typewriter' or obvious 'computer' look. It looks good at low resolutions, too; a fax in this face leaves no room for doubt even if the image comes out badly at the other end.
These links will take you from the Microsoft web site to a Monotype web site. Monotype can provide many common Microsoft supplied fonts under license from Microsoft or under license from other font vendors.