Apple, Microsoft announce cross license agreement for outline font technology, printer software

Business Wire

September 19, 1989

SAN FRANCISCO -- Apple Computer Inc. and Microsoft Corp. Tuesday announced a cross-license agreement for outline font technology and printer software to be standard across the Apple Macintosh and Microsoft OS/2 Presentation Manager platforms.

Microsoft will license Apple's outline font technology for inclusion in future versions of Microsoft OS/2 Presentation Manager. Apple will license printer software from Microsoft for implementation in future versions of the Apple LaserWriter printer. The Microsoft printer software incorporates the Apple font format.

Apple's outline font technology was announced in May 1989 to significantly improve the quality and flexibility of font support for the Macintosh. Now Microsoft will bring this same open font format to OS/2 Presentation Manager, allowing the easy exchange of rich text documents between these two desktop platforms.

``Apple's innovative image font technology is emerging as the foundation for desktop computing in the 1990s,'' said John Sculley, Apple chairman and chief executive officer. ``Users can now take advantage of this high-quality, standard printing and font solution on the Macintosh and across other key computing environments.''

``Apple has really led the way in enhancing the use of font technology in desktop platforms,'' said Bill Gates, Microsoft Corp. chairman and chief executive officer. ``Our establishment of a common font format and common printer software will bring power, flexibility and standardization for screen and printer output to the Macintosh and OS/2 Presentation Manager.''

``Scalable font technology is an essential part of the rich graphic environment that will characterize computing in the 1990s,'' said Jonathan Seybold, president of Seybold Publications and Seminars. ``The agreement is probably the most important development in the computer industry this year.''

Outline Font Technology

The outline font format is an open standard that all hardware, software and font vendors can support. Nearly a dozen leading type vendors and as many software developers have already announced support for this font standard (see attached list). Today's agreement between Apple and Microsoft means that these type vendors will easily be able to support both the Macintosh and OS/2 Presentation Manager.

Apple's font technology includes the specifications for a powerful instruction set that controls characters for printing or screen display at low resolution, while preserving excellent quality at high resolution.

Outline fonts are mathematical descriptions of text characters that allow the computer to accurately display text at any size on any screen or printer. Bit-map fonts, widely implemented in current screen output devices, are device-specific and consequently cannot be easily displayed on different devices without severe limitations on memory and flexibility.

Advantages for Applications Software

The outline font format will make it easier for applications to have high-quality output from either the Apple Macintosh or OS/2 Presentation Manager. Now users will be able to purchase a single font library for both systems and be assured of the type quality previously available only on dedicated typesetting and publishing systems.

``Many people use WordPerfect to do high-end word processing and desktop publishing on both OS/2 and Macintosh platforms and require high-quality scalable fonts both on screen and in print,'' said Derrick Shadel, vice president of development, WordPerfect Corp. ``We welcome standards like this that provide consistency across these platforms and are open to a variety of vendors.''

Microsoft Printer Software Enables WYSIWYG Documents

A standard outline font format for screen output is one half of the equation for high-quality document production. The second half is the availability of standard printer software that incorporates the same font format as used for screen output. This printer software meets both these criteria.

The printer software is based on source code from Bauer Enterprises of San Jose, Calif., acquired by Microsoft in July 1989. It is compatible with the Adobe POSTSCRIPT printer language and has enhancements for compatibility with OS/2 Presentation Manager and Macintosh.

This new printer software provides a high-level description of a page to a printer. It accepts input from the host system and translates it into a series of commands describing which pixels of the page to mark with ink.

With its support for the outline font format, the new printer software enables creation of sharp text of any size or font type on any printer that uses this software. As a result, what users see on the screen is what prints on the page.

Microsoft will sublicense the printer software to third-party OEMs. The Bauer Enterprises printer software was previously licensed to many leading printer vendors, so Microsoft anticipates that the new software will quickly gain acceptance in the printer market.


The outline font technology announced today will be incorporated into future versions of OS/2 Presentation Manager and Apple Macintosh. Pricing and availability will be announced at a later date.

Apple Computer Inc. develops, manufactures and markets personal computer systems for use in business, education, science and engineering, government and the home. A recognized pioneer and innovator in the personal computer industry, Apple does business in more than 85 countries.

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) develops, markets and supports a wide range of software for business and professional use, including operating systems, languages and application programs, as well as books, hardware and CD-ROM products for the microcomputer marketplace.


-- Microsoft and the Microsoft logo are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

-- Apple, Macintosh and LaserWriter are registered trademarks of Apple Computer Inc.

-- Adobe and POSTSCRIPT are registered trademarks of Adobe Systems Inc.


The following leading type vendors have announced support for the outline font standard adopted by both Apple Computer Inc. and Microsoft Corp.: AGFA Compugraphic Bigelow & Homes Bitstream Inc. Casady & Greene Inc. International Typeface Corp. Kingsley/ATF Type Corp. Letraset USA Linotype AG Monotype Corp. The Font Bureau Inc. URW of West Germany

CONTACT: Apple Computer Inc. Patty Tulloch, Brooke Cohan, 408/974-5449, 408/974-3019 or Microsoft Corp., Redmond, Wash. Marty Taucher, 206/882-8080 or The Waggener Group, Portland, Ore. Claire Lematta, Pam Edstrom, 503/245-0905 20:05 ET

Copyright (c) 1989, Business Wire