Microsoft strikes back at Outlook 2010 rendering grumbles

Whose line is it anyway?


Microsoft has upset a bunch of Outlook users who loudly complained about the firm's decision to retain the Word rendering engine in its mail client for the 2010 edition.

A campaign kicked off on the interwebs after many Outlook users grumbled that Microsoft had once again snubbed HTML rendering as the default option in the next version of its email software.

Much to the chagrin of fixoutlook.org Microsoft plans to release Outlook 2010 with the Word rendering engine, exactly as it did for the 2007 edition of the mail client.

Redmond ignored the gripes from users who have been busily Tweeting themselves into a frenzy about the rendering engine, which allows users to compose and display emails in Outlook.

Microsoft responded yesterday with a shrug of the shoulders.

“First, 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,” said Office veep William Kennedy in a blog post.

“We’ve made the decision to continue to use Word for creating email messages because we believe it’s the best email authoring experience around, with rich tools that our Word customers have enjoyed for over 25 years.”

Kennedy then took a swipe at the Email Standards Project, which has backed the fixoutlook.org campaign.

“There is no widely-recognised consensus in the industry about what subset of HTML is appropriate for use in email for interoperability. The ‘Email Standards Project’ does not represent a sanctioned standard or an industry consensus in this area,” he said.

“Should such a consensus arise, we will of course work with other email vendors to provide rich support in our products. We are constantly working to improve our products and the experience that they give to our customers.”

The Email Standards Project quickly responded to Microsoft's blog.

"Sanctioned or not, we’ve had a great partnership with companies like Apple and Yahoo! who have been more than happy to work with us in improving their support for web standards in their own email clients," said the org's Dave Greiner.

"As for consensus, surely 20,000 individuals sending a unified message in less than 24 hours is something at least worth your consideration." ®

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