When Microsoft created Outlook 2007 they took a mysterious design decision. “Let’s use the suckiest HTML renderer in the world (the MS Word one) to render HTML messages. ” Now it seems they’re planning to stick to that decision in Outlook 2010. To make the world aware of the nuttiness of this some good folks has created a site about it: Outlook’s broken – Let’s fix it
On Twitter there are more than just a few people who has struggled with downgrading their e-mail designs to be at least readable in Outlook 2007. Which made the news about this fixoutlook.org site quite big on the Twire. And Microsoft saw it. And Microsoft responded. Check it out. In the respons you’ll find:
Word enables Outlook customers to write … visually stunning e-mail messages.
That’s probably why Microsofts own XBox Live Team starts all their e-mail messages with this:
Seems like the XBox Live team doesn’t use Outlook? Or maybe they just don’t know how visually stunning their e-mail messages can get using it.
Microsofts response also contains this:
Microsoft welcomes the development of broadly-adopted e-mail standards. We understand that e-mail is about interoperability among various e-mail programs, and we believe that Outlook provides a good mix of a rich user experience and solid interoperability with a wide variety of other e-mail programs.
It’s of course a bad-taste-joke. But I think that the part about how they understand that e-mail is about interoperability is true. Unfortunately that’s where this decision probably comes from. Microsoft fears broadly-adopted standards. The world is about as stuck with Microsoft Office as it is with Windows. Wherever Microsoft has a near-monopoly they take the opportunity to fuck the world. That’s what they do with Internet Explorer. That’s what they do with Outlook. But what can we do? Maybe we can try get the EU to force Microsoft to quit bundling Outlook with Office?