The more I learn about it, the more Outlook 2007 continues to suck. First it was problems with downloading POP email, and now David Greiner tells us that HTML rendering in Outlook 2007 uses the Word engine rather than Internet Explorer:
Imagine for a second that the new version of IE7 killed off the majority of CSS support and only allowed table based layouts. The web design world would be up in arms! Well, that’s exactly what the new version of Outlook does to email designers.
You can see a full list of what is and isn’t supported at MSDN.
David wonders why Microsoft has done this, and suggests security, consistent rendering, and “they hate us” as possible explanations. I suspect security is the main reason, but like David points out, IE7 is a big step foward in security! They should just require use of IE7’s rendering engine.
So what does this mean for the average user?
All it means is that a lot of HTML emails in Outlook will be garbled and difficult to read. Nothing more, nothing less.
That sucks, especially since IE7 is pretty darn good at CSS rendering. And to be clear, it doesn’t matter if you think the world should only use text-based email. HTML email is not going to go away, and if Outlook is going to render it, I’d rather it do so correctly.
Read: Campaign Monitor