I came across this story several times recently – apparently a bunch of internet folks are really annoyed that Outlook insists on using Microsoft Word as its HTML email render-er. Microsoft has addressed the situation, saying that it appreciates the feedback from users, but since they don’t believe there is a reason for them not to use Word, especially since there seemingly isn’t a web standard for HTML email rendering. Personally, I don’t care, because I recently dumped Outlook (more on that soon), but I thought there were a few interesting tidbits that I wanted to comment on in this story.
First, direct quote from the Microsoft response, ‘…Word enables Outlook customers to write professional-looking and visually stunning e-mail messages.‘ I realize I’m likely in the minority here, but I’m not really interested in visually stunning emails. I get email on my phone and my computer, wherever I’m at, and while my phone *is* capable of showing full HTML emails, it’s not my preferred way to view them. Email is for text, and I just need to be able to read it, that’s my primary concern.
It’s also interesting to read the different viewpoints on this around the ‘net. Personally, while I don’t use Outlook anymore, I don’t blame them – why would Microsoft use something else, when they get $$ when folks have both Outlook and Word installed? Also, using Word keeps people comfortable with it, which means they’re more likely to purchase it for their next computer. It’s an awesome example of Microsoft eating their own dogfood and filling others’ bowls with it, too, and you can’t really fault them for that, in my opinion.
What do you think? Are you an Outlook user, or have you abandoned it for other platforms, too? Do you think they handled this properly?