But Microsoft also today announced that it is extending its TrueType Technology to the Web, and Microsoft's effort is being supported by some 40 industry leaders including Oracle, Hewlett-Packard, and Spyglass.
Whoever's fonts win out, it looks like Web sites will soon be more appealing and perhaps easier on a reader's eye. Webmasters currently have a limited selection of type fonts that can be used for text and documents.
The Netscape-Adobe-Apple fonts will use anti-aliased type for improved screen quality, will be compressed for faster delivery over 14.4-kbps fax-modem connections, and will be rendered for faster onscreen display.
Adobe will support the new font technology in the next version of its Acrobat Amber plug-in for Netscape Navigator.
Netscape said it will support those fonts in a Navigator update due later this year. As for Apple, it bundles both Adobe Acrobat and Netscape Navigator with its Apple Internet Connection Kit and the Apple Internet Server Solution.
Microsoft's TrueType-for-the-Web solution will also give designers a wider range of fonts for their Web pages.
Microsoft will offer a royalty-free cross-platform licensing program for a TrueType rasterizer (font deciphering software) for PCs and printers that will let those systems process TrueType fonts used on Web sites.
The rasterizer is already shipping with Hewlett-Packard printers and PCs. Microsoft expects to post its first set of TrueType fonts this quarter to its TrueType Web site.