The first thing I noticed with the latest IE9 beta (9.0.7930.16406) was that somehow cleartype was enabled. This was particularly surprising because the first thing I do after a fresh Windows install is disable cleartype. Luckily, for my operating system, I can disable cleartype, so I immediately began searching for the option in IE9. I found the option: Options > Advanced > Multimedia section > “Always use ClearType for HTML”, but it was already unchecked.

That’s right, the current IE9 beta has cleartype permanently enabled!

For anyone who runs a monitors at the native resolution, this causes text to look blurry. If you have a high DPI monitor (such as on my notebook) the effect is even worse!

The most interesting aspect of this issue, is the fact that when I enable ClearType in my operating system and view the same page in firefox, it still looks better than in the IE9 beta.

For small text, this is a killer. Take a look at this example of a web app rendered in Firefox without cleartype, IE9, and finally Firefox with ClearType enabled on the operating system:
Firefox vs IE9 with cleartype

This is apparently not the first time this has happened either. Windows Presentation Foundation had similar issues with “broken” cleartype.

I really hope that Microsoft doesn’t force this blurry type on me with IE9’s final release. Even with the prospect of a fixed version of cleartype on the horizon al a WPF, I would still greatly prefer the ability to disable ClearType altogether.