San Francisco, CA. - 30 August 1999
Today at SeyboldSF, Microsoft's Dick Brass announced details of the Microsoft Reader with ClearType. The product is due to ship early next year.
Dedicated Web site
From the Microsoft Reader with ClearType Web site...
Microsoft Reader is a new software application designed to deliver an on-screen computer reading experience that for the first time approaches the convenience and quality of paper. This reading software is based solidly on the very latest font improvement technology as well as extensive research into the traditions, benefits, and critical components of good print layout and typography.
Microsoft Reader includes the following features:
Microsoft Reader is scheduled to be available for Windows operating system-based PCs and laptops early next year.
- ClearType™ font-rendering technology, which greatly improves font resolution on LCD screens
- Clean, uncluttered display
- Ample margins
- Proper spacing, leading and kerning
- Powerful tools for book marking, highlighting and annotation
- Built-in dictionary
- Library that can store and manage a large collection of books, articles and other documents
- Flexible copy protection system that allows publishers to distribute their titles with protection from piracy and illegal copying.
Microsoft Announces New Software for Reading on Screen
Breakthrough Microsoft Reader Will Be First Product to Include Innovative ClearType Font-Rendering Technology
San Francisco, CA. Aug. 30. Today at Seybold SF '99, Microsoft
Corp. MSFT announced the development of Microsoft(R) Reader, a new
PC software application designed to deliver an on-screen computer reading
experience that for the first time approaches the convenience and quality of
"With Microsoft Reader, we take a giant step forward in making it possible
to enjoy reading books and other long documents on a PC or laptop," said Dick
Brass, vice president of Technology Development at Microsoft. "For customers,
this means a reading experience closer than ever to that of printed paper.
For publishers and authors, this means that electronic books and periodicals
can now quickly grow to become a vast and lucrative new industry."
Microsoft Reader is the first product to include ClearType(TM)
font-rendering technology. Developed by Microsoft Research, ClearType greatly
improves font resolution on LCD screens to deliver a paper-like display.
Microsoft Reader also pays strict attention to the traditions and benefits of
good typography. It offers a clean, uncluttered display; ample margins;
proper spacing, leading and kerning; plus powerful tools for book-marking,
highlighting and annotation. It includes a built-in dictionary as well as a
Library that can store and manage a large collection of books and other
documents. It also features a flexible copy-protection system that allows
publishers to distribute titles with protection from piracy and illegal
Various publishers, book vendors and eBook pioneers have expressed support
for Microsoft Reader. "Microsoft is to be applauded for helping enable
meaningful on-screen reading," said Michael Lynton, chairman and CEO of
Penguin-Putnam. "This technology gives publishers and authors a better
opportunity to reach readers with their titles in an electronic medium."
"It is the dawn of the age of the eBook," said Steve Riggio, vice chairman
of Barnes & Noble. "Microsoft Reader will vastly improve the readability of
content on PCs and laptops and bring it to an installed base of millions of
In his keynote address at the Seybold SF '99 conference, Brass predicted
Microsoft Reader would change the pace of electronic book adoption by enabling
hundreds of millions of existing PCs and laptops to function as high-quality
"In less than 15 years, more than half of all titles sold will be
electronic," Brass told the conference audience in his address. "Advances in
computer displays and storage have made electronic reading possible; Microsoft
Reader will make it widespread and profitable."
"Until now, the lack of readability on a typical PC or notebook display
has been the biggest obstacle to the widespread adoption of emerging
technologies, such as electronic books, that emphasize continuous, long-
duration reading on screen," Brass said. "With Microsoft Reader and
ClearType, authors and publishers will be able to present works of a very high
quality, which consumers will be eager to purchase."
To ensure that customers have easy access to a wide range of titles for
electronic reading, Microsoft is working closely with publishers,
distributors, retailers and eBook pioneers to establish standards that will
nurture the fledgling electronic book industry. In October 1998, Microsoft
joined with dozens of other industry leaders to create the Open eBook
Standard, which provides publishers with a common standard for formatting and
preparing electronic titles.
Microsoft Reader is scheduled to be available for Windows(R) operating
system-based PCs and laptops early next year. Microsoft Reader is the first
product to be announced by the Emerging Technologies Group, led by Brass,
which is part of the Business Productivity Group that produces Microsoft
Founded in 1975, Microsoft MSFT is the worldwide leader in
software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products
and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of
making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full
power of personal computing every day.
Microsoft, ClearType and Windows are either registered trademarks or
trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective
article posted 30 August 1999 and last updated 7 September 1999.