Virtual PC in Windows 7 – fonts look bad?

After installing Windows 7 and learning how to use the new Virtual PC, I noticed something odd with the way fonts were occasionally displayed in Visual Studio.  It took some testing, but I figured out that if I ‘Enabled Integration Features’ with VPC, then ClearType wouldn’t be enabled.  It would look like this:

ClearTypeNotEnabled

With integration features disabled, it looked like this:

ClearTypeEnabled

These screen shots don’t show how different the two look when you’re actually using it.  The most noticeable piece is the ‘W’ in the where clause.

I left this alone for several months, but recently decided to try and figure it out.  (I thought maybe I had a beta version of the integration features or something).  Searching the net, I found this discussion thread, confirming my suspicion, and it offered a solution:

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en/w7itprovirt/thread/7ccc8c6f-7580-4c2d-97e1-5ecbfefe47fe

ClearType in Remote Desktop with XP
http://www.ytechie.com/2008/12/cleartype-in-remote-desktop-with-xp.html
If you want ClearType over RDP with XP SP3 (sorry, only SP3+), add the following registry key:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server\WinStations]
"AllowFontAntiAlias"=dword:00000001

Even though my guest OS is Windows 2003, I thought I’d try it anyway. After changing the registry, rebooting the VPC, and logging in using the integration features – fonts looked the same.  So much for that fix.

I’m hoping that Microsoft comes up with a fix for this.  Windows Virtual PC seems to have taken one step forward and two steps back from Virtual PC 2007.  It does appear to have  better network performance, but the integration feature UI is poorly designed and buggy.  The management console is just a custom folder view, which is jarringly different from the previous version (who thought a custom folder view could be a proper management console?).  Plus, there still is no x64 guest capability, which is going to be required by SharePoint 2010 developers.

Print | posted @ Tuesday, December 15, 2009 7:41 PM