Email Standards Project – Microsoft to ignore web standards in Outlook 2010 – enough is enough
By: Email Standards Project
As most of you know, our motivation for starting the Email Standards Project two years ago came from the release of Outlook 2007. Specifically, because of Microsoft’s decision to avoid using a browser to render HTML emails in place of a word processor. This immediately took standards-based email design off the table, forcing designers to abandon web standards for tables and font tags. You can read our original reaction and the subsequent call to arms that followed.
Since that time, we’ve had the pleasure of working with teams at Yahoo!, Apple, IBM, Google and even the Microsoft Entourage team. However, the elephant in the room was always Outlook. For a time things were looking good and we had the chance to chat with a number of passionate Microsoft employees who agreed with our position on standards and to try their best to improve future versions of Outlook. I’m sad to say, it looks like these efforts failed.
After testing the latest beta of Outlook 2010 and seeing the same poor standards support as 2007, a senior member of the Outlook team confirmed they plan on continuing to use Word to render HTML emails. Not only that, but early tests indicate that HTML support in the Word engine has not been improved in any way. Same bugs. Same quirks.
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To demonstrate just how bad the Word rendering engine is in Outlook 2010, here’s exactly the same email rendered in Outlook 2000, and then Outlook 2010. Click the image for a full sized version.
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