At work, we recently kicked off an effort to make sure that all of the emails coming from our applications are Outlook 2010 compliant…meaning that they render in a reasonably acceptable manner–at least as emails go. On the surface, this doesn’t appear to be that big of a deal. However, for us it is, because the prior version for which we tested emails was Outlook 2003.

So what’s the problem? Well, if you didn’t hear, Microsoft made the brilliant move of deciding to switch their email-rendering engine from IE (Outlook 2003 and before) to Word. In short, this means a massive decrease in support for HTML standards, CSS support, etc. In fact, the move is so counter-standards that an entire movement has been started to try to pressure Microsoft into fixing the problem…so far, nothing.

But arguments about the “smartness” of this change aside, the facts on the ground still require that my co-workers and I fix some emails. So far, my experience has been that in terms of layout, not a huge amount of revision has been necessary. What has caused issues, however, is the lack of CSS support. If you ever find yourself needing to get an email looking decent in Outlook More >