It was recently made official that Outlook 2007 which ships with the latest version of the Microsoft Office suite has received a not so welcome change in the way it renders HTML email. In previous versions of Outlook, the Word rendering engine was used for composing email, while Internet Explorer was used for reading it which apparently worked well for most people, but not anymore.
Redmond explains its decision as such: "A big thing we heard from customers is that they wanted the richness of the editing experience they were used to from Word integrated throughout Outlook. While Internet Explorer 7.0 is great, it was never intended to be an editing tool," it said in a Knowledge Base article.
Although that reasoning may appear to make some sense, the fact is that Word does not support many HTML attributes like simple background images or forms, nor does it support CSS. Here at TechSpot we started noticing some strange behavior in the weekly newsletters we send when read with Outlook 2007, I guess we now have our answer. While Microsoft seems to be listening to e-mail designers complaints, they are not promising any immediate updates to remedy the lack of CSS and HTML support desired.