Outlook 2007: Changes to the e-mail rendering engine

No longer does Outlook 2007 use Internet Explorer to render and view e-mail messages.  Microsoft took Word 2007 and used that as the sole engine to view and compose e-mail messages with.  Why did they do this?  I don’t know but I just found out that there are several sites reporting about this concerned with the way that standards are being handled.

Microsoft hasn’t really complied to web based standards for quite some time.  With the recent release of Internet Explorer 7, Microsoft seemed to have finally caught on to complying with web standards but it seems that they took five steps back with Outlook 2007.

I first used Office 2007 when the public beta became available.  One thing I noticed was several changes to the way Outlook handled fonts and other formatting items.  I am heavy on customizing Outlook’s setting to using certain fonts for composing and replying to messages.  Upon trying to set the font of the RSS feeds due to the font being used being too small, I did some research and found out through an MVP via the Outlook newsgroup that Microsoft had completely revamped the way Outlook renders and composes e-mail.  From that point on I messed around with a few settings and found that with Word you could actually change the RSS feed font; however, this was either broken or fixed by later builds of Office 2007.

I then went out in search to see if I could override everything coming in via a style sheet like I do with Internet Explorer.  I soon found out that this was not possible and everything as far as rendering the actual page and CSS goes is left up to Word 2007.

I was surfing through Neowin.net and found that there are several sites out there along with many upset people and their main gripe is this: Fix the CSS and HTML rendering with Outlook.

It seems there has been a huge outcry for this and I can only hope that Microsoft will take heed and listen to what we all have to say.  I hope they fix this issue and let us choose and also comply with the web standards that are set forth for a reason!