January 17, 2007
Rich Mail: Sturm und Drang
Last week saw much developer/designer hand-wringing and hair pulling as the news became generally recognized that Outlook 2007 would no longer use IE to render rich email. Microsoft chose to decouple Internet Explorer and instead use Word's much more limited but perhaps more secure html engine, announcing the change in August of last year during the beta where few of us took notice.
Till now. Proscribed from future rich mail campaigns are background images, plug-in content (never a good idea to begin with), CSS positioning and floats, form elements and more, described in Microsoft articles Word 2007 HTML and CSS Rendering Capabilities in Outlook 2007 [1|2].
Shops hoping to take advantage of IE 7's improved standards support in the next version of Outlook, available now as a test-drive download and in a few weeks in atomic form, now face the prospect of scaling back existing designs and explaining to their clients why they must do so. I've so far been unable to find projected adoption numbers, but I think we can expect Outlook 2007 to be as successful as its predecessor and, over time, to replace the older, more HTML/CSS-capable versions without much attrition in the market place.Posted by Lewis Francis at January 17, 2007 7:35 PM