Chris Pirillo figured out that by tweaking a few registry keys, he could fix the parts of Windows (and third-party applications) that eroneously call on Arial, MS Sans Serif and Tahoma, when they should be using new Vista standard font Segoe UI. Segoe looks similar to, yet considerably better than all of those, with cleaner curves, anti-aliasing, and overall improved readability, yet Microsoft has not taken the necessary steps to replace the old fonts with the new.
Chris’s registry patch (install at your own risk) uses CurrentVersion FontSubstitutes to redirect every attempt to use Tahoma, Microsoft Sans Serif, MS Sans Serif, MS Serif, Arial and Times New Roman, straight over to Segoe UI. It’s a dirty change, one that will promise to screw up fixed-width dialog boxes that don’t have a lot of room for error, but it does solve a major usability issue.
Frankly, I’ve been calling on Microsoft to do a similar, but slightly cleaner, solution, for months. Microsoft is already putting a significant investment in font designers for Vista. Call those guys back to the table, and get them to redesign Segoe to meet the exact specifications of every single old system font, to the smallest pixel. Then, redirect the fonts as a default in the OS, and delete the originals. Ta-da. Segoe, as a number of variations (like Segoe Tahoma Scale, Segoe Arial Scale, and so on), would faithfully and bug-free replace every old ugly font, and Vista would look a hell of a lot better.
I get it: It’s crunch time, and you guys are real busy. Still, those font guys probably haven’t done anything in months, so why not call them back in and get rid of this problem for good?