Web Fonts, oh

Currently, web designers and anyone who uses the web is pretty much restricted to the use of three fine, but very limited, fonts: Arial, Verdana, Georgia, and some variant of Times. What is incredible about this fact is that the web is incredibly rich with typography even though its typographic capacity has been stretched skin-thin. Almost every English-language website uses one or more of these four system fonts, which on the face (pun intended) is pathetic, but if it wasn’t for Microsoft developing Verdana and Georgia, we’d have, well, two! Sure, there is the rarely-used Geneva, and Courier, and Trebuchet and now Lucida Grande from Apple, but it’s still a design tragedy, given: a.) the incredible talent of type designers out there, b.) the phenomenal money poured into online interface design by every major company in the world, and c.) the fact that the web is the most flexible communication medium since movable type.
The paucity of typographic options has led the W3 body to issue one year ago the document called CSS3 module: Web Fonts, which is quite an interesting read, if you like this kind of thing. In a nutshell, and if I understand it correctly, it will allow fonts to be matched with those on local system or downloaded with web pages to accomodate specific designs. Style sheets will take care of it all in the background. My hope is that, whenever CSS3 is implemented (it’s not yet) by browser makers, they make this work beautifully.