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The TrueType Open name evolved from this email:
From: Steve Shaiman
Sent: Monday, February 28, 1994 6:18 PM
To: Dave Ohara; Eliyezer Kohen; Greg Hitchcock; Peter Pathe; Robert Norton; Vincent Connare
Subject: Name that TrueType, NOT 2.0
We need a better name for what we've been calling TrueType 2.0. Peter Pathe and I agree that we want to use the word "Open" in the name (like "TT Open"). Dave and I came up with having an abbreviated name like "TrueType XO" where X can be exceptional, or cross-platform, or ???, and "O" is still for "Open". If you have some ideas let me know sometime this week (otherwise you may have to live something I come up with). ....
My memory of how the OpenType name came-to-be may differ from others, but I'll offer it up. In April of 1996, we had a hallway conversation on the implications of the arrangement with Adobe. We decided that we needed a name to describe the uber-technology that encapsulated both Type1 and TrueType. Dean Ballard, one of the designers of TrueType Open suggested we call it OpenType. That name seemed to stick.
Another is also from Greg on 2/18/16:
As I mentioned in my post, for TrueType Open, Steve Shaiman, my manager at the time, wanted to move away from what we were internally calling TrueType 2.0, to something with the word "open" in it. I'll have to ask him to see if he remembers why.
I don't recall Microsoft positioning TrueType Open as "...a format for other vendors to implement, ending the 'font format wars'? ". TrueType Open (or some equivalent like TrueType GX) was critical for us, in the short term (of 1994), to implement some of our Japanese and Arabic fonts. We looked at the GX specifications, we talked to Apple, and ultimately, for a variety of reasons, decided to design our own system. (Side note, as we needed to ship some Japanese fonts before TrueType Open was ready, the fonts used a simplified version of the 'mort' table in their initial version.) In 1994, I would argue, the font wars were still going strong, with no obvious end in sight.
My memory of TrueType Open was that at the Microsoft invitational TrueType
Open we gave away golf hats with a logo that I made with a golf ball over a
T. I also think Robert Norton hosted a little golf tournament with some of
the attendees. The rules were bent in Robert's favour because he didn't
like the course layout so he remade how you played the holes.
I remember everyone thought TrueType Open sounded weird because it sounded
way too much like the US Open. So a new name was needed.