In the late 1980’s, Monotype redrew its Times New Roman to make it fit exactly the proportions and metrics of the Adobe-Linotype version of Times Roman.
Monotype claimed that its new version was better than the Adobe-Linotype version, because of smoother curves, better detailing, and generally greater sensitivity to the original designs. During the same period, Adobe upgraded its version of Times, using digital masters from Linotype, which of course claimed that it had a superior version.
A competition was born to see who had the most refined, sensitive, original, genuine, bona-fide, artistically and typographically correct version. Many, perhaps most, users didn’t notice and didn’t care about these subtle distinctions, many of which were invisible at 10 pt at 300 dpi.
When Microsoft produced its version of Times New Roman, licensed from Monotype, in TrueType format, and when Apple produced its version of Times Roman, licensed from Linotype, in TrueType format, the subtle competition took on a new aspect, because both Microsoft and Apple expended a great deal of time and effort to make the TrueType versions as good as, or better than, the PostScript version.
During the same period, Adobe released ATM along with upgraded versions of its core set of fonts, for improved rasterization on screen. Also, firms like Imagen, now part of QMS,and Sun developed rival font scaling technologies, and labored to make sure that their renderings of Times, licensed from Linotype in both cases, were equal to those of their competitors. Hence, the perceived quality of the Times design became a litmus for the quality of several font formats. Never before, and probably never again, would the precise placement of pixels in the serifs or ‘s’ curves etc. of Times Roman occupy the attention of so many engineers and computer scientists. It was perhaps the supreme era of the Digital Fontologist.