Helvetica on Windows 7

I just got the upgrade to Windows 7 at work and was pleased to find that it had a bundled copy of the Helvetica font. If you don’t know, Helvetica was a font that pretty much changed the graphic design industry; Arial is a cheap knock-off that Microsoft made because they couldn’t get the rights to Helvetica in their original OS.

Now bear in mind, the only people who are really going to notice the difference between Arial and Helvetica are font snobs like myself. There are actual differences. But, for the most part, nobody cares. So owning Helvetica is really some sort of geek pride thing, although I would find myself using it in a few designs.

I typed up a document and changed the font to Helvetica. That’s when I saw it. Take a look at this screenshot. One of those is Arial and one is Helvetica. Can you spot the difference?

No. You can’t. Because there is no difference. Microsoft copied Arial and renamed it Helvetica. They thought they could get away with it because nobody would notice. But I’m letting the world know.

I mean, seriously…

What if Windows 7 came bundled with movie stars?

What if Windows 7 came bundled with movies?

What if Windows 7 came bundled with pop stars?

What if Windows 7 came bundled with kids’ shows?

What if Windows 7 came bundled with restaurants?

Microsoft, have you no shame? Well, I take that back. There are worse things they could have done.

Note: Some people are apparently completely missing what I’m saying here. I’m not saying that Helvetica and Arial are the same font. Go back and read the post. I’m saying that Microsoft repackaged Arial as Helvetica for the initial release of Windows 7. Please stop with the inane comments.