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small fonts in IE9 look like ass

I'm using the IE9 browser a lot these days, but unfortunately something I have to deal with is that smaller fonts look like absolute crap - and there's no way to disable it. In beta IE9 you could disable the GPU rendering and fonts went back to normal, but now you deal with this garbage:

image
Internet Explorer 8

image
Internet Explorer 9

You may not notice a difference at first, but trust me, it's there. The top gray bar in each screen shot is where you see it the most. Previously, smaller fonts were all crisp and now they look "smudged" for lack of a better descriptor.

According to the threads I've been reading on the subject, Microsoft's response to this is "Deal with it" because they are absolutely convinced jacked-up-looking small fonts are better.

[update]

Using Compatibility View fixes the problem; I found this out completely by accident.

With CV off:

image

With CV on:

image

I can't tell you how happy I am I found that feature, even if by accident.

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