Hey Windows 8, Chrome – where did my font-rendering go?

win8fontsI’ve been using Windows 8 every day since it went RTM back in August 2012. But having just rebuilt my every-day system with a new install, I’ve noticed something’s gone funny with the font rendering. And it turns out, I’m not alone in noticing this.

Microsoft developed a technology called ClearType back in the days of Windows XP that really improved font rendering – or at least the smoothness of fonts – on LCD panels. It still exists in Windows 8.

But Windows 8 has copped a bit of a bagging on the font-rendering front, with some blaming Modern UI. But to be fair, my experience has been the issue isn’t apparent on everything – but it is very noticeable on Google Chrome and the Google Play store at the moment.

This partial screen grab is straight from the Google Play store via the latest version of Chrome on Windows 8 for the game Ridge Racer Slipstream. I’ve magnified by 200% to make it bigger but as you can see from the ‘Descriplion’, there’s something not quite right going on there. So the question I have is who’s to blame? Is it Google Chrome? Is it Microsoft Windows? Is it the Google Play store? Either way, the Play Store’s default font looks pretty darn ordinary on my PC at the moment.  What’s interesting is that it looks a little better on Internet Explorer 12 – not perfect mind you, but better.

Now I’m prepared that something in my new build might not be right, but with plenty of people also having font issues with Windows 8, I’m not convinced that whatever’s going on is entirely my fault. What I’m finding weird though is that I’ve never seen this problem before and I’ve installed the OS the same way I always do – via USB flash drive.

Time for more ‘investigalion’ by the looks of it…

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