Monday, January 15, 2007

Microsoft To Mess with Email Marketing...

I can't believe my ears. I am hopping mad!

Can it really be true? Microsoft - in the release of the new Outlook 2007 - has apparently decided to mess with Internet standards as only they can...

Ask yourself: What is the WORST possible thing Microsoft could do to make a mess of HTML email and ruin how it is going to look and work inside of email?

Answer: They could change the rendering engine to the most notoriously bad HTML tool on the planet - Microsoft Word.

As an email marketing service provider, all I can think about is the problems that this is going to cause our customers. We are going to have to figure out what this means to the hundreds - if not thousands - of email newsletter templates that have been tweaked to work well in different email clients, and then help people make changes to them to work in the new email environment. Just think of the millions of people in corporations that will naturally upgrade to the newest version, and then the follow up movement of all computer users to the new environment as they purchase new computers with the latest software built in.

If this is an important issue to you, CampaignMonitor has an excellent post on what these changes will mean to you.

If you want to see what this means to your email campaigns, Microsoft has an HTML validator for their new email client.

What are they thinking? The only thing that makes sense is that instead of supporting standards, they want to MAKE the standards. From a business perspective - with their monopolistic market share - it's a logical move to gain more control of the Internet.

Does that make them ... evil? I think that is an ethical/moral question that is up to each individual to decide for themselves.