What Are They Thinking?

Ian Lurie

Campaign Monitor has a post about Microsoft’s Outlook 2007 implementation of HTML e-mail. It’s not good. Exactly what genius decided to yank standardized HTML support and take a 5-year step backwards?!

I won’t waste time in a tirade. If you’re an e-mail marketer, here’s what you’ll need to consider:

Avoid multiple column layouts: Outlook 2007 won’t support a lot of the CSS layout tools you might use to properly format a two- or three-column e-mail layout. Stick with one column.

Don’t use background colors or background images, because Outlook 2007 either won’t support them or will do so without attention to standards.

Stick with a hybrid of plain old HTML and tables, with CSS only being used for text formatting. Outlook 2007 won’t support the ‘position’, ‘float’ or many other layering commands. It also will go back to pre-Internet Explorer support for the CSS box model.

If that’s all greek, here’s the plain-language translation: Design e-mail like it’s 1999.

Click here for the full story.

After speaking with a few people, I have one hypothesis: It may have to do with the lawsuit dealing with IE being integrated with the OS. Since it can not longer be integrated with the OS then Outlook can not rely on that component to be installed. And since they can’t integrate that sort of business (maybe) due to the lawsuit Office did what they had to do. Revert back to their Word capabilities.

Seems to me they could’ve built a new HTML engine, but maybe not…

Ian Lurie

Ian Lurie is the founder of Portent. He's been a digital marketer since the days of AOL and Compuserve (that's more than 25 years, if you're counting). Ian's recorded training for Lynda.com, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Smashing Magazine, and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, Seattle Interactive Conference and ad:Tech. He has published several books about business and marketing: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle, The Web Marketing All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies, and Conversation Marketing. Ian is now an independent consultant and continues to work with the Portent team, training the agency group on all things digital. You can find him at www.ianlurie.com

Start call to action

See how Portent can help you own your piece of the web.

End call to action


Comments are closed.

Close search overlay