Microsoft takes email design back 5 years

From the Campaign Monitor Blog: As I type this post I still can't believe it. I'm literally stunned. If you haven't already heard, I'm talking about the recent news that Outlook 2007, released next month, will stop using Internet Explorer to render HTML emails and instead use the crippled Microsoft Word rendering engine.

Now c'mon, how bad can this be?
First things first, you need to realize that Outlook enjoys a 75-80% share of the corporate email market, which is similar to Internet Explorer's share of the browser market - they make the rules. We've been doing some early testing, as have a few other brave souls, and come February, here's just a taste of what won't be supported:

  1. No background images - Background images in divs and table cells are gone, meaning Mark's image replacement technique is out the window...
View: Full Article @ Campaign Monitor
Link: Neowin Discussion (Thanks hardgiant)

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17 Comments

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It's a great idea - from a security standpoint. It's well known that IE has as much holes as a swiss cheese, so stopping to use it for rendering email content will reduce the possible email exploits considerably.


Good - security over feature-set. Maybe that security initiative over there at MS is actually working. /applaud goes to MS on this news.

Dear God, no, not my background colors!!!! I can't bellieve this guy survived his shock to tell us this horror story!

I have been using Outlook 07 with the rest of Office 07 and I must say that this the best release thus far. As others have said... MS has taken a cautious approach to blocking content in emails and I rather them be over cautious and not render an entire email till I determine it's safe. gg

Odd that it's using Word's engine for this - Word has been replaced with Outlooks engine own for editing Rich Text emails!

Let's face it... eMails should anyway only contain text, and anything that is beyond should be an attachment, or link to a webpage. I don't see any car on the road having wings just because planes have them. Good move from Microsoft.

I agree as well... nothings worse than trying to read some html on a mobile phone that could have been easier done with simple text.

Well, if they're doing it for anti-trust reasons - to seperate the browser from the OS, they could always use the Gecko/Mozilla engine instead

I wouldn't mind if email was taken back 10 years and we all had to use plain text mode for it all. That's what I default mine to, and what I wish everybody else would default theirs to. Want to send some fancy newsletter? Send a PDF attachment!

It is defaulted to render in Rich Text, but HTML can still be turned on. This has been discussed on CNET and in Neowins own forums, and it is obviously a security feature - maybe more research is needed before accusing Mirosoft of destroying Outlook.

This simple act could reduce emails from being picture-spam to being plaintext readable AND being less prone to attack! (The simpler the engine, the less exploitage possible)

Heaven forbid.

I have had many clients have email issues (non deliverable, dont look right, come across and win.dat attachment etc) from using RTE
Has caused more problems than good