The Power of Word in Outlook
This morning we became aware of a Twitter campaign run from the website http://fixoutlook.org. This campaign is intended to provide Microsoft with feedback about our decision to continue to use Microsoft Word for composing and displaying e-mail in the upcoming release of Microsoft Outlook 2010. The Email Standards Project, which developed the website that promotes the current Twitter campaign, is backed by the maker of “email marketing campaign” software.
First, while we don’t yet have a broadly-available beta version of Microsoft Office 2010, we can confirm that Outlook 2010 does use Word 2010 for composing and displaying e-mail, just as it did in Office 2007. We’ve made the decision to continue to use Word for creating e-mail messages because we believe it’s the best e-mail authoring experience around, with rich tools that our Word customers have enjoyed for over 25 years. Our customers enjoy using a familiar and powerful tool for creating e-mail, just as they do for creating documents. Word enables Outlook customers to write professional-looking and visually stunning e-mail messages. You can read more about this in our whitepaper, outlining the benefits and the reason behind using Word as Outlook’s e-mail editor.
As an example, here are some images that show some of the rich e-mail that our customers can send, without having to be a professional HTML web designer. In addition to the familiar formatting toolbar, Outlook offers powerful Word tools such as automatic styles and templates, charting tools, SmartArt, and richly formatted tables for our professional customers.
Drawing and Charting tools
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Table and Formatting tools
Mini Toolbar for formatting
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Word has always done a great job of displaying the HTML which is commonly found in e-mails around the world. We have always made information available about what HTML we support in Outlook; for example, you can find our latest information for our Office 2007 products here. For e-mail viewing, Word also provides security benefits that are not available in a browser: Word cannot run web script or other active content that may threaten the security and safety of our customers.
We are focused on creating a great e-mail experience for the end user, and we support any standard that makes this better. To that end, Microsoft welcomes the development of broadly-adopted e-mail standards. We understand that e-mail is about interoperability among various e-mail programs, and we believe that Outlook provides a good mix of a rich user experience and solid interoperability with a wide variety of other e-mail programs. There is no widely-recognized consensus in the industry about what subset of HTML is appropriate for use in e-mail for interoperability. The “Email Standards Project” does not represent a sanctioned standard or an industry consensus in this area. Should such a consensus arise, we will of course work with other e-mail vendors to provide rich support in our products. We are constantly working to improve our products and the experience that they give to our customers.
As usual, we appreciate the feedback from our customers, via Twitter or on our Outlook team blog.
-- William Kennedy
Corporate Vice President, Office Communications and Forms Team