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Vision 2020 - Microsoft to ignore web standards in Outlook 2010 - enough is enough


Microsoft to ignore web standards in Outlook 2010 - enough is enough

The Email Standards Project has taken Twitter by storm in the last 24 hours, popularising it's campaign to pressure Microsoft (and others) to adopt HTML / CSS web standards with their email client. Have a look here for the campaign website --- definitely worth a visit: http://www.fixoutlook.org/

The motivation for starting the Email Standards Project two years ago came from the release of Outlook 2007. Specifically, because of Microsoft’s decision to avoid using a browser to render HTML emails in place of a word processor. This immediately took standards-based email design off the table, forcing designers to abandon web standards for tables and font tags. And now it looks like Microsoft will not change that position for it's forthcoming Outlook 2010 release, now entering beta.

You can read the latest blog entry on the ESP website here:


Microsoft was soon to respond to the mounting pressure via their Outlook Team Blog:


There are some positives to take away from their post, but also a number of issues that need further clarification. For example,

“We’ve made the decision to continue to use Word for creating e-mail messages because we believe it’s the best e-mail authoring experience around, with rich tools that our Word customers have enjoyed for over 25 years.”

Doesn't seem that they have understood the core issues here at all. You can read the follow up post from the guys at the ESP project here:


This is definitely an issue worth keeping an eye on. Most of the modern email clients are adopting web-standards, but there are few big players lagging behind --- and only for commercial reasons.

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