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Is it possible for the Linux community to buy the rights for the Microsoft fonts so that they can be included in every distribution (or with distributions that would like to include them)?

Would Microsoft consider something like that? Selling Microsoft Fonts (Arial, Tahoma, Verdana, Calibri etc.) or their license to the Linux community?

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I'm sure Microsoft would sell them, but who exactly is it you want to pay for them? Also, while I don't know much about fonts, I believe the open/closed source model can be applied to them, and presuming MS is not going to license open source fonts, "the community" (or some distro) are very unlikely to be interested. –  TAFKA 'goldilocks' Jul 15 '13 at 16:29
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Hmm, I will try to send an email to Microsoft and we will see what the result price for this "deal" would be ;). Any idea if Linux community and MS were speaking about licensing MS Fonts in the past? I am new to LInux so I am not aware if such talks took place or not. –  Derfder Jul 15 '13 at 16:32
    
I imagine it would not be impossible to sell individual licences, except that no one would want to because the tish will then get pirated. Personally, other than a few monospace fonts (as a programmer, you end up using those a lot) I don't bother adding anything. Further tangent: anything other than a mono font in a terminal is sort of absurd, which brings up the MS terminal: AFAICT it has no appearance or font options at all and is beyond ugly. I'm not trying to insult windows so much as point out these are are, sort of, two different worlds... –  TAFKA 'goldilocks' Jul 15 '13 at 16:53
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@goldilocks In win7 you can configure the font of the command prompt and powershell by right clicking on the titlebar and selecting properties. I think you could do the same in XP but it's been long enough since I've used it that I'm not sure. –  Dan Neely Jul 15 '13 at 20:09
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This question appears to be off-topic because it is about speculation on what Microsoft might do. –  Gilles Jul 15 '13 at 21:43
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closed as off-topic by Gilles, jasonwryan, Evan Teitelman, Michael Mrozek Jul 16 '13 at 4:16

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3 Answers

A font like tahoma can be found in the wine fonts package. There's also a package called ttf-ms-fonts which includes some the fonts you mentioned and can be legally installed. See for example this information for arch linux.

Includes:

  • Andalé Mono
  • Arial
  • Arial Black
  • Comic Sans
  • Courier New
  • Georgia
  • Impact
  • Lucida Sans
  • Lucida Console
  • Microsoft Sans Serif
  • Times New Roman
  • Trebuchet
  • Verdana
  • Webdings
  • Wingdings
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Arial and Verdana were released as part of the "Core Fonts for the Web" project. These are still freely [legally] available and easy to install in Linux.

Tahoma... and newer fonts like Calibri ... heh, I think it's very unlikely that these could ever be had [legally] for free.

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Your best option would be to check through this site:

If you go to that site and click one of the links to check out either the fonts embedded in an MS application or a font family you'll get to a page about a particular font. At the bottom of those pages is this blurb:

These links will take you from the Microsoft web site to a Monotype Imaging web site. Monotype can provide many common Microsoft supplied fonts under license from Microsoft or under license from other font vendors.

If you search for "monotype microsoft" you'll stumble into this page:

On this page is a link for purchasing fonts and also the licenses:

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