The Email Standards Project launched an impressive campaign via Twitter yesterday called “Fix Outlook“. As of this morning, over 21,000 people have chimed in and offered up their support. But Microsoft still doesn’t care. I say ‘still’ because their decision to switch to using Word as the rendering engine for Outlook was isn’t new. (It was actually switched in Outlook 2007.) But the fact that Microsoft went ahead and kept this change in for Outlook 2010 has People were pretty vocal about the switch back then too.
What’s the big deal?
Outlook 2003 used Internet Explorer to render emails. While it wasn’t perfect, it actually handled HTML emails pretty well. With the introduction of Outlook 2007, Microsoft announced it was switching to Microsoft Word to author and view emails within the application. Word writes atrocious markup. It renders horribly. Basic CSS support for floats, background-images, etc. are not supported.
For a company that has shown its support of standards in improving Internet Explorer, their blatant disregard for them with Outlook 2010 is unacceptable.
Legitimacy of the Email Standards Project?
To make matters worse, Microsoft’s Office division refuses to accept the legitimacy of the Email Standards Project, especially since Freshview – the company behind CampaignMonitor – is the reason it exists in the first place. Yes, Freshview is an email marketing provider. They have an interest in it being easier for their customers to create campaigns through their service that work in every email client. Web standards has had very vocal support over the years. Freshview saw the absence of a vocal proponent for email standards, and stepped up to the plate.
AOL, Yahoo, Google and IBM are already working with the Email Standards Project. Microsoft, we all know you’re going to do whatever the hell you please, but we’re not going away. We’re not giving up.