My colleague and Facebook friend, Bill Hill, died suddenly last week. Bill was an unsung hero, a crusader in the quest to improve the readability of text and books on screen. He invented ClearType for Microsoft Windows (shown here demonstrating ClearType to Al Gore).
During his decade or so at Microsoft, Bill championed some of Microsoft’s most important contributions to readability, including better on-screen typography (fonts like Georgia, Trebuchet, Verdana and Tahoma). That said, he lamented that typographic improvements from Microsoft often lagged Apple’s contributions by a decade or more…
He was on a lifelong crusade — sadly under-appreciated at Microsoft — to improve readability and access to do-it-yourself publishing. He was a pioneer in e‑book technology, more than a decade before Amazon finally achieved a successful mass market offering with the Kindle. He described some of his pioneering work in his blog, The Future of Reading.
Live Life Large
Bill was an eccentric and a contrarian, a creative thinker, a man of fiercely held convictions. In discourse as in food, Bill preferred things hot and spicy.
Bill composed and played music, inspired by causes, self-publishing a number of recordings. You can find links to some of them on his Facebook page.
After early retirement from Microsoft, he lived for a year or so on Kauai where he indulged his passion for surfing — even wearing a headcam at times to share the dangers and delights with his Facebook friends.
He loved his family, he loved nature and the great outdoors.
His passing is a reminder to enjoy life, breath by breath. And to spend time with the people you love.
Goodbye, Bill. We’ll miss you and your fire!