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When annotation layers are present in map services published with the ArcMap image virtual server, the labels from these annotation layers may appear in bold and possess a fuzzy or pixelated outline specifically on Windows 2000.
Image #1 - Output Image from IMS on Windows 2000
Image #2 - Output Image from IMS on Windows 2003/XP
This problem primarily occurs with ArcIMS installations configured on Windows 2000 platforms.
By default, the option to smooth screen fonts on Windows 2000 platforms is disabled.
Enable the smoothing of screen fonts option.