Microsoft shows once again how it doesn’t listen

Just as one thinks that Microsoft has begun to understand the whole idea of listening to its customers and is turning that battleship around it shows that maybe it’s still deaf in one ear.

There’s been a lot buzz on Twitter about a movement to try and get Microsoft to backtrack on its decision to use the Word rendering engine for HTML based email in Outlook. So far some 22,000 plus Twitterers have heeded the call and visited fixoutlook.org to register their vote on this.

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The reason for this kind of passion is because in many people’s opinion the Word rendering engine sucks the big one when comes displaying HTML and that it has no place in a modern email client. However Microsoft is fighting this tooth and nail.

As Ed Oswald writes over at The Technologizer

“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,” said the Outlook team in a blog post Wednesday.

The company also goes on to say there is no standard for HTML in e-mail. It does not address however the evidence that Word rendering is faulty, as shown by Fix Outlook’s comparison of an email in Outlook 2000 and 2010. The rendering in 2010 is frankly horrid.

It would seem that Microsoft has turned a deaf ear but that could turn out to be a big mistake. Anyone remember what happened when they had the same attitude about Internet Explorer? That saw the creation of Firefox which has gone on to be the biggest threat Microsoft has seen to any of their products.

Already Microsoft is facing stiff competition on the email front and this decision to stick to their guns on using the Word rendering engine could end up being another one of those tipping points.

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