Problems with HTML Email rendering in Outlook 2007

Problems with HTML Email rendering in Outlook 2007

Many designers already know what a complete nightmare Outlook 2007 can be to design for from an HTML email perspective. Microsoft in their infinite wisdom chose to use its own Word HTML email rendering engine for their latest edition of Outlook.This can unfortunately have a profound impact on how brands email messages are displayed in Outlook 2007 as documented by Datamation here.

At the time of writing Microsoft have confirmed that they intend to use the Word rendering engine for HTML emails in Outlook 2010 despite widespread industry condemnation and even a campaign by the Email Standards Project by way of Campaign Monitor pleading with the developers at Microsoft.

Nonetheless it remains that these issues with Outlook 2007 need attending to and I have tried to address them by referring to some excellent email sources such as Email Marketing Voodoo and most importantly testing messages with Litmus. Litmus has saved my proverbial neck on many an occassion through its ability to provide you with examples of how HTML communications render via the following clients:

Desktop email clients

  • Apple Mail 3
  • Apple Mail 2.1
  • Lotus Notes 8
  • Lotus Notes 7
  • Lotus Notes 6.5
  • Outlook 2007
  • Outlook 2003
  • Outlook 2002/XP
  • Outlook 2000
  • Thunderbird 3.0 Beta
  • Thunderbird 2.0

Web-based email clients

  • AOL Mail
  • Gmail
  • Gmail (older version)
  • Live Hotmail
  • Mail.com
  • Mobile Me
  • Yahoo! Mail
  • Yahoo! Mail Classic

Litmus also provdes you with SPAM scores for the following filters:

Desktop spam filters

  • Apple Mail 3
  • Apple Mail 2
  • Outlook 2007
  • Outlook 2003

Server-side spam filters

  • AOL
  • Barracuda
  • Brightmail
  • Gmail
  • Hotmail
  • MessageLabs
  • Postini
  • SpamAssassin
  • Yahoo! Mail
  • Yahoo! SpamGuard Plus

Through careful testing and monitoring of the results I can ensure that communications look the way they should when they get delivered and that they make it through the SPAM filter in the first place. It would be nice however for a proper email standard to be established and then for all major players toc stick to it. Microsoft, please take note!

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