Pandora’s Box

In the beginning there was Text, and it was good.

I’m still in awe about how much residual traffic I’ve gotten as a result of the conversation going on about how Microsoft Breaks HTML Email Rendering in Outlook 2007. The story, in various forms, has appeared on a number of sites. If you were to trust the comments on Digg, most people (it seems) would prefer that we revert back to a time where email is text-only. I don’t disagree that HTML emails can be evil, but there’s an inherent problem in wishing us back to the Stone Ages of Email: People like HTML email.

Yes, HTML email is abused by spammers. Yes, Incredimail sucks and so does “email stationary” in Outlook and the like… but if HTML email didn’t work (for spam or even legitimate correspondence), and if people didn’t want their messages to look *gag* “pretty”, there wouldn’t be a market for it.

HTML Email is here to stay, and that is why I am so irritated over the fact that Microsoft has taken to course action they have with Outlook 2007. Why break something that worked fine in older versions? Why take away something clients have come to expect?

Software should be improved from version to version. The choice to use the Word rendering engine in Outlook 2007 was probably predicated by a desire to avoid further anti-trust lawsuits… but that’s unexectable.