Outlook 2007 Vs CSS-based newsletter design

“If you can’t read this email newsletter click here”.

You’ve probably seen that text on any well designed email newsletter that is catering for the now mind-boggling array of client-side email applications which designs are viewed in these days. Well, you’re about to see it a lot more. Microsoft has announced that it is replacing the Internet Explorer rendering engine in Outlook 2007 with the Microsoft Word engine. Among the many implications for web designers and their clients are lack off support for some rudimentary CSS functionality and a step backwards in terms of both web standards and newsletter design.

Visit Kevin Yank’s excellent article on Sitepoint.com for a full break down where he highlights Outlook’s major upgrade in 2007 now has…

  • no support for background images (HTML or CSS)
  • no support for forms
  • no support for Flash, or other plugins
  • no support for CSS floats
  • no support for replacing bullets with images in unordered lists
  • no support for CSS positioning
  • no support for animated GIFs

Now, we can live without the Flash and plugin support.
We can possibly live without support for forms in email newsletters. The loss of background images support and CSS positioning is a real let down for both designers and clients. Fingers crossed that Microsoft are listening to designers like they did with the Internet Explorer 7 development.

About peter

Peter Knight is Creative Director and Manager of Eden Web Design Studios.
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4 Responses to Outlook 2007 Vs CSS-based newsletter design

  1. Shocking. Way to go, Microsoft.

  2. Dave Davis says:

    Another super move by MS. Maybe now is the time to move to Thunderbird?

  3. Peter says:

    TB is a great application but I couldn’t see my clients moving to Thunderbird. A lot of them are on MS exchange, use the Outlook calendaring daily and have Outlook address books etc. The same goes for thier clients whom we are designing newsletters for.

    In my own case, I am using a Nokia E61 (Great phone) and the sync options just wouldn’t work with Thunderbird. IE Mail, Calendar, Address books etc etc.

    Are you using TB yourself?

  4. Oh I am not looking forward to this. My company uses the tasks in outlook on our exchange server exclusively and if I could find a way to replace the tasks I could convince them to switch to something, ANYTHING, else.

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