Outlook Render Engine Switch

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Outlook Render Engine Switch
When Microsoft decided last month to pull the Internet Explorer HTML rendering engine out of Outlook 2007, it caused quite the stir. Microsoft contends that customers wanted rich e-mail creation and display unified on the Microsoft Word rendering engine. But even if the switch does all that, and improves e-mail security by foiling HTML-bound exploits, it won't be enough to please all users.

A Step Backward
I'm disappointed that [Microsoft has] gone in this direction because of security. IE7 is supposed to be even more secure than previous versions. A lot of people like receiving HTML e-mail and quite a few people use Outlook. I think this was a poor decision on [Microsoft's] part to step backward in what's supported. While I don't care all that much about page background most of the time, I do think that CSS is pretty standard now and should be supported.

Peter Schott
Database Administrator
Irving, Texas

'Ridiculous, to say the least.'
I think Microsoft's move to change the Outlook HTML renderer to [Microsoft] Word is ridiculous, to say the least. The only part of this move that makes sense is its attempt to consolidate the Office suite and provide as much cross-functionality within the suite as possible-but I don't think Microsoft realizes that it's opening a can of worms.

First, its argument of IE not being an editor hardly holds weight. There are hundreds of HTML editors out there that are browser-based. Many are even compatible with multiple browsers. Most of them have far more functionality than the Outlook new mail window (ever tried editing tables in an Outlook e-mail?). What about all the bloated markup that Word generates? Is there anybody else out there thinking of the wasted bandwidth-hey, it adds up pretty quickly-and compatibility issues with other e-mail clients?

I'm not sure of the security implications of this move, but I do know that lots of people using other e-mail systems have trouble opening attachments sent using RichText (which is the default if you use Word as your e-mail editor-I wonder if that will change). There are still plenty of people using other, older systems, who need to be considered before making such a decision.

I know someone who designs and sends out HTML e-mails for a living, [and] Word's lousy rendering of HTML is probably going to put him out of business!
Mohammed Owais
Head of Research & Development
The Hiring Solutions Company
Dubai, U.A.E.
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Reader Comments:

Tue, Jun 23, 2009

This is such a fuck up on Microsofts behalf.

Wed, Jul 6, 2005 Frannk upstate NY

I will never condone violence against innocent people but it saddens me to think about the digital divide. Youths feeling so compelled to be a part of the new world they will risk it all.

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