Microsoft’s Windows is virtually on every PC but perhaps it owes part of its success to everyone’s darling desktop software: Microsoft Office. Even I an ardent lover of Linux will readily admit that Ms Office has no equal. There was a time when being able to use Ms Office packages like Word was considered a useful skill. These days everyone assumes you can use Word and Excel.
Despite regular updates and tweaks, most things have stayed the same when it comes to Office. This includes the default font you see when you launch packages like Word for the first time. By default, you get the Calibri font. This was not always the case and soon it will also no longer be the case. Microsoft will soon replace Calibri
Remember the Romans?
When I was a tiny little boy I got my first taste in desktop computing courtesy of Microsoft’s Windows XP. The standard Ms Office version on most PCs was Office 2003-a glorious creation and often held as the standard of perfection in the Free and Open Source Software world. Back then the default font was Times New Roman at 12pt.
Times New Roman was such a popular font that even when Office 2007 was released people hung on to it for years. It was the font that carried me through college. All but one lecture would demand a double spaced Times New Roman typed assignment. The lady who taught us Communication Skills was the odd-one-out she wanted Arial Black also double spaced.
Ms Office 2007, which replaced 2003 rocked the boat by changing so many things including introducing the much-hated ribbon interface. People were so angry about a lot of new changes the font change was the least of their worries. It was the same tumultuous year when Windows Vista became generally available so you can imagine how lucky Calibri was.
After Calibri what’s next
Calibri has been the default font for all things Microsoft since 2007, when it stepped in to replace Times New Roman across Microsoft Office. It has served us all well, but we believe it’s time to evolve. To help us set a new direction, we’ve commissioned five original, custom fonts to eventually replace Calibri as the default. We’re excited to share these brand-new fonts with you today and would love your input.Microsoft’s Blog Post on the upcoming font change.
According to Microsoft, they haven’t decided yet. You can actually help them decide by visiting their Twitter post on the issue and making your voice heard by saying which of the five fonts is your favourite. It’s rather disappointing that they are not holding a poll over this as we do in the FOSS world.
Change is a constant in the computing and design world. Even the Google logo has evolved with the years becoming flatter and simpler compared to its embossed original elaborate design.
In any case, if you still feel attached to Calibri, it will still be a few clicks away. Personally, the first thing I will do in those rarer moments when I find myself in Ms Office, is to switch the font to Times New Roman and the font size from 11pt to 12. Some changes are just too much for me.