Microsoft Office Outlook 2007
Image Rendering FAQ ? revised 2/15/07
- In past versions, Outlook used two rendering engines ? Internet Explorer for reading content, and Microsoft Word for editing when you were composing messages. What this meant was that if you were replying or forwarding HTML emails, previous versions of Outlook would first use IE's rendering engine to view it, then would have to switch over to the compose engine (Word).
- We learned this wasn't an ideal experience for customers, as often the content people created looked different to the recipient receiving it ? like the formatting would be slightly off, or things wouldn't appear as they had when the message was in ?compose? mode. We heard customers wanted the functionality of rich editing tools they were using in Microsoft Word. As great as Internet Explorer and browser technologies were, they were never designed to be text editors.
- In developing Microsoft Word 2007, the development team made several advancements on the handling of HTML content, based on HTML and CSS standards. Based on these enhancements, the Outlook team made the decision to unify the rendering and editing engine by using Word's engine, providing users a superior editing experience.
Q. What's the justification? Doesn't this make it harder for Web designers to create HTML email messages??and harder for Outlook users to receive well?designed messages?
A. While there are some HTML and CSS attributes that aren't currently supported by Word's rendering engine, the capabilities that our customers most wanted for their HTML newsletters are supported by Outlook 2007. For more information visit: http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en?us/library/aa338201.aspx and http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en?us/library/aa338200.aspx for details on HMTL and CSS standards.
Q. Why doesn't Microsoft use the same standards for Outlook 2007 as in Internet Explorer 7?
A. Customers using Outlook don't just want to display HTML content, the way they do in their browser, but also have an expectation that they should be able to author that content as well. We heard from customers is that they wanted the richness of the editing experience they were used to from Word integrated throughout Outlook. While IE7 is great, it was never intended to be an editing tool. That's why we made the decision to use Word's new HTML rendering engine for both reading and authoring content, which had been improved based on HTML and CSS standards. This allowed us to unify the rendering and editing engines together, rather than forcing customers using Outlook to use two different rendering engines (one for rendering HTML, the other for editing).
Q. Are there any plans to add support for the other HTML and CSS standards to Word's engine?
A. Microsoft is continually examining HTML and CSS support based on customer feedback
Q. Where do I find more information on email deliverability best practices?
A. Visit www.microsoft.com/postmaster for information on all products and services including Windows Live Hotmail and Windows Live Mail.
Source: The ESP I work for received this information today through the ESP Coalition
I stand by my opinion. It's called HTML email, not Microsoft Word Mail.