Microsoft has confirmed that its premier email client, Outlook, will remain non-compliant with web standards in the next version of MS Office due out in 2010.
The statement comes in response to a campaign launched by the Email Standards Project , asking Microsoft to provide Outlook with text rendering that complies with web standards (like almost every other major email client on the market — see a list of them ), and to reverse the decision made in Office 2007 to use Word’s text engine rather than an HTML-compliant editor to compose emails.
MS Word does not provide support for key elements of CSS design tags like float, margin, padding, background-image and many more. You can quickly get a sense of the problem by looking at this image of an email displayed by Outlook 2000 and 2007:
In a post on the Outlook Team Blog , the Corporate Vice President of Microsoft’s Office Communications and Forms Team William Kennedy says that,
…while we don’t yet have a broadly-available beta version of Microsoft Office 2010, we can confirm that Outlook 2010 does use Word 2010 for composing and displaying e-mail, just as it did in Office 2007. We’ve made the decision to continue to use Word for creating e-mail messages because we believe it’s the best e-mail authoring experience around, with rich tools that our Word customers have enjoyed for over 25 years. Our customers enjoy using a familiar and powerful tool for creating e-mail, just as they do for creating documents.
Of course, a lack of web standards is not the only problem Outlook causes for Mail.app users, perhaps not even the main one.
The Campaign to fix Outlook is not giving up. You can read more about it on its web site or, if you twitter, make your compliant known that way.
Tags: Apple Mail, HTML, mail.app, microsoft, office, outlook, web standards