back to article Microsoft strikes back at Outlook 2010 rendering grumbles

Microsoft has upset a bunch of Outlook users who loudly complained about the firm's decision to retain the Word rendering engine in its mail client for the 2010 edition. A campaign kicked off on the interwebs after many Outlook users grumbled that Microsoft had once again snubbed HTML rendering as the default option in the next …

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Megaphone

Absolutely Ridiculous.

Who the *%^&$ is he to say that there is no specifically designated Subset" of HTML widely in use that has been adopted by people. How about just HTML? Surely Microsoft cannot say they support "HTML Emails" if they dont actually follow the HTML standard? Every other client at least manages to half way support HTML to a point where we can code something that looks good in a non retarded way. But No - because of Outlook all email developers have to create some "Fisher Price my First HTML" code to fit in with the MS word "Fisher Price my First Rendering Engine".

I am pissed off with this as I have just spent the last 2 hours trying to get my email to display correctly in Outlook 2007 - even after following the retarded 1995 method of coding HTML (tables - inline styles - no background images) it still doesnt look ideal. So even with my hands tied behind my back - Microsoft still takes pleasure in repeatedly kicking me in the balls and silently mocking me with broken layouts (and broken tables - HOW????).

Fine - so use word to compose the message but at least use Internet Explorer to Render incoming emails - thats is at least (a bit) less broken than your shitty email client.

I hope someone renders the face of the guy who decided that word rendering was a good idea.

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Megaphone

We don' need no steenkin' "‘Email Standards Project"...

>“There is no widely-recognised consensus in the industry about what subset of HTML is appropriate for use in email for interoperability."

Yes there is. It's the null subset. The "standard" for HTML email is "JUST DON'T YOU AOL/WEBTV-USING TWUNT!!!1!".

Plain text RFC822. The one and only true ordained standard!

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Bronze badge
Gates Halo

I hope

I really hope that MS doesn't change anything

The only people who seem to be crying over this are the web designers, the people who design all those crappy HTML emails you never read, or you make sure they go to a seperate email account just so you can sign up for the service but ignore any crap they insist on sending you every week/month/day/hour or have some new amazing marketing initiative you really just have to see.

Yes, I'm talking about the SPAM you don't read, don't really want and they would save themselves a lot of effort if they sent a plain-text SHORT email with a few links for those people (i.e. themselves, mothers and girlfiriends) who really do want to read the marketing speak and have their eyes assulted.

What ever email client I use, i ALWAYS have images turned off just to spare myself the pain. Plus the email loads/downloads a lot quicker meaning it can hit the trash can a lot quicker too (win-win)

Of course there are also the complaints from those who jump on the MS bashing bandwagon without really thinking about what they are complaining about and really need to work on improving their own sad little lives rather than constantly looking to critise a software company. IF MS is that bad then piss off and use something else.

Strangely enough, email from real people I know with content that does actually matter to me and I want to read, react to and respond to always renders fine in outlook 2007

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Anonymous Coward

Ironic website?

I hope the fact that their website is an ugly bloated slow pig is an ironic dig at Outlook.

Personally I think we should all go back to plain text email. If you want shiny pictures and fancy layouts, send a PDF attachment, or a link to a web page.

Luddite? Moi?

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Dead Vulture

C'mon, c'mon...

Oh FFS. It's not "Outlook users" complaining. And saying that Microsoft has "snubbed HTML rendering as the default option" is meaningless. The people complaining are professional designers who are tasked by their clients to create HTML email. If Outlook uses a broken rendering engine rather than a standards-compliant one, it makes life much more difficult.

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WTF?

Huh?

"we believe it’s the best email authoring experience around, with rich tools that our Word customers have enjoyed for over 25 years.”

Best email authoring experience? What sort of bullshit is that? Its a sodding email for God's sake, not a prize winning novel.

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Silver badge

HTM smell

A long time ago, I came to the conclusion that HTML in e-mails was only of use to spies, thieves, spammers and tossers. (Ok, I can understand non-PC-literate grandparents wanting to see pics of the family).

Has anything happened since then that might make me change my mind?

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Linux

Why use MS Outlook ???

It is hard to believe that users of MS Outlook care about web-standards, the least standard-complaiant e-mail software. If you want an HTML e-mail software you can use an open-source one like Thunderbird !!!

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Bring back buggy whips!

Sorry, but while I get a little annoyed with the cut and paste and permanent spacing/format changes that occasionally occur, I still prefer the capabilities in 2007 to say Outlook Express or some Web email client. Keep going Microsoft, move along, nothing to see back there...and please fix the annoying cut and paste issue at some point so I can stop using Notepad when it occurs.

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Gates Horns

Does anyone

Actually USE outlook? - business users aside - its Thunderbird all the way for my systems....

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Coffee/keyboard

No news here...

As if anyone would expect anything different from Redmond. They're the epitome of the "not invented here" paradigm. Only when every effort at destroying a "foreign standard" has failed, will they go along to get along. Even then, they will continue to attempt to pollute established standards with their proprietary bloat. Grumble all you want, then if you have any sense, you'll quit paying them their tribute and use something, anything, except for their overpriced, overweight, ponderous crudware. You DO have choices. Kwitcherbitchin and get on with your life.

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WTF?

How sad can you get

Email standardisation? - These people make the EU look like a bunch of anarchist hippies.

Its email ffs - the web equivalent of postcards.

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Flame

Twit ering themselves...

HTML for email? Why? Plain text for me. Don't need all of those fancy colors, graphics, etc. I use outlook, but I always compose and respond in plain text only.

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Badgers

Courier

Meh! Do all email in plain, mono-spaced text. And no colours. And no top-posting, whilst we are at it.....

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Don't fix outlook (dot org)

Stop sending bloody HTML emails!

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Anonymous Coward

Paving the way to impose their own standard, as per usual.

If they don't own the accepted standard and can't bribe anybody into adopting theirs, they simply pretend that the standard isn't really a standard and ignore it.

Same old BS from MS.

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FAIL

HATE... OUTLOOK...

SO... MUCH!

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HTML != Email...

...and folks who insist on using it without seriously good reason should be forced to spend their days looking at web pages that consist entirely of blinking marquees (or crappy Flash pages!).

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FAIL

20,000 complaints?

Wow, people really are out in force then eh? Does it not occur to the freetard brigade that their are probably single organisations with more than 20,000 Outlook users alone, let alone worldwide. The idea that it represents a "significant" amount is laughable.

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fixoutlook.org site

My God, that is the most distressing site I have ever visited. My eyes were trying to read the content, but the horrible refreshing background made me feel sick.

The worst that Web 2.0 has to offer....

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Silver badge

Dear Lord

Outlook using Word for email is bloatware using more bloatware. With that state of mind, it's no wonder Vista needs 4GB of RAM and a quad-core to run about well (note to trolls : don't bother refuting that).

I do email with a browser on a web-based interface. I can Bold, Underline and Italicize and that's all I need for an email. If you want to send a proper letter, by all means type it up in whatever Office version you want and send it as an attachment - but please, use a compression tool first.

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Gates Horns

Outlook is their last bastion

Mind you, with OpenOffice providing already 80% of Office functionality (if not more) with very good file format compatibility, Windows being less hardware compatible (and requiring more expensive gear) than Mac or the last Linux releases, Outlook is their last point of resistance to avoid them being kicked out of the business desktop altogether.

And not a bad choice by Microsoft, by the way. Outlook means Exchange which means Active Directory.... and from there is just a baby step to jump into SharePoint, which means SQLServer which.... Outlook is the first point of an argument that ends up with your whole enterprise being Microsoftized

Outlook is also a very good choice as it does not have a credible equivalent be it open or closed. Oh please, don't mention Lotus Notes.

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Boffin

He speak with forked tongue (again!)

Quote:

“There is no widely-recognised consensus in the industry about what subset of HTML is appropriate for use in email for interoperability. The ‘Email Standards Project’ does not represent a sanctioned standard or an industry consensus in this area,” he said.

Hmm, isn't it called an "RFC" in internet-speak?

And IIRC, the subset of HTML found in the RFC looks like this: < >

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Anonymous Coward

"Read all standard mail in plain text" option

As long as Outlook retains its "Read all standard mail in plain text", I don't really care what rendering engine it uses.

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Gates Horns

"Rich" is the new "Proprietary"

Same old same old from MS.

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Fixinated ...

"... We are constantly working to improve our products and the experience that they give to our customers. It is just a shame that we are fucking shit at it though!"

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idiots!

"As for consensus, surely 20,000 individuals sending a unified message in less than 24 hours is something at least worth your consideration."

Idiots....That's 20,000 individuals WHO STILL USE OUTLOOK no matter how bad it is. It just sends the message to MS that no matter how bad it is people will still use, so why bother wasting money to fix it! Maybe if you got those 20,000 people to uninstall Outlook, package the disk and licence up and send it to MS with a note telling em that they will never touch Outlook again until it is fixed they might get a reaction. Bottom line is, as long as people keep using it MS coudn't care less how bad it is.

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Email should be text only anyway.

I hate looking at anything other than text in an email message. Email, properly, shouldn't have fonts, graphics, or video embedded. It should just be a message and nothing else. Something else, in the Outlook world, would be a Word document. That's not email. And don't even get me started on Outlook's horrendous bottom-quoting...

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Thumb Down

hmmm

looking at my resources ... Outlook is eating 26,000k and WinWord 60,000k = 86,000k memory just to run email client.

That's a bit too much, don't you think?

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Coat

@ Joel 1

Quite agree, bruv. Ah, whoops.

>Meh! Do all email in plain, mono-spaced text. And no colours. And no top-posting, whilst

>we are at it.....

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WTF?

HTML is NOT email FFS!!

fixoutlook.org must be the biggest bunch of whingeing, time wasting losers I have ever come across.

HTML != EMAIL

Next they'll all be expecting us to create our bloody emails in strict html, completely 100% css compliant code and we'll all need a degree in applied computer sciences just to be able to email Aunty Maureen about Dad's ongoing issue with heamorhoids.

Or something.

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Gates Horns

So what else is new?

M$ has had a long and honored tradition of ignoring the people who are dumb enough or who are by circumstances forced to buy their software.

The arrogance of Microsoft is amazing and yet how can you blame them when they still get people to pay for the same old pablum.

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Anonymous Coward

tables in plain text emails?

I use tables a lot to communicate information to my other developers around the world. I suppose if I used plain text email I could attach an Excel spreadsheet, but what's the point?

I don't see how you can communicate without some types of formatting in email. Plain text is for loosers.

As for MS, yes this blows. You shouldn't have to have Word installed to use Outlook. And they should just support HTML and drop rich text. Along those same lines, why does Apple's Mail.app only do Rich Text? It doesn't let you specify HTML as a format either.

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Paris Hilton

20,000 people under the sea

Indeed. 20,000 people being forced to comply within the same 24 hour period says quite a lot.

Paris, compulsory compliance.

(Dear, God! Do we have enough bloody icons yet?!)

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Megaphone

@Andy Cadley

"Does it not occur to the freetard brigade that their are probably single organisations with more than 20,000 Outlook users alone, let alone worldwide."

Why do point your criticism at the "freetard brigade"? Why, when an anti-MS story bobs up do you MS apologists always assume its "freetards" behind it?. MS piss off more people than just free software advocates, something you fanboys are blinkered too. Where did you pull the "freetard" angle from anyway? Obviously not from the article, but I If you look into it a little bit first, you find that fixoutlook.org is backed by a commercial(ie NOT FOR FREE!) supplier of email software. So it is "paytards" you should be bagging, you knob.

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Linux

What?

They buy shite and then complain because it smells?

Idiots.

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Anonymous Coward

HTML mail is here to stay guys, get over it.

Sorry, the dinosaurs in this discussion are those that hold on to "the best ways are the old ways".

Yes some HTML mail is spam (so is a lot of text mail), that's not a problem with HTML mail, its a problem with email standards that, unlike web standards, have not progressed and developed an improved security model and have failed to effectively roll out ways of, for just one example, preventing faking of the senders address.

If you don't like HTML mail you can turn it off, I dare say the same guys turn off images in their web-browsers, llisten to radio instead of watching TV or going to the movies, rip the pictures out of their daily newspaper.

I get some excellent opt-in HTML mailings, I value their *relevant* embedded images just as I find well designed illustrated graphical web pages more satisfactory than plain text ones.

Microsoft see no benefit in spending on improving outlook, just as they did with MSIE - until they saw they were losing out. The answer is a campaign to embed Outlook-only code in HTML mailings saying "You are using an obsolete email program, for the best experience of this email update to Gmail, T'bird... whatever".

Maybe we could have a special mime-type for outlook users?

BTW remember "Two years from now, spam will be solved,” Bill Gates at the World Economic Forum participants in Davos in 2004.

So much for MS' capabilities in the sphere of email technologies.

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Anonymous Coward

I bloody hate HTMl email

Sod off about embedding crap in my emails.

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@AC

The largest backer of the so-called Email Standards Project may well be a company who sells a spamming, sorry "email marketing", tool but 90% of the Twitter responses come from Freetards. I stand by my comment.

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Headmaster

@Andy Cadley

I use Outlook 2007 with Gmail. I paid good money for Office2007, so not a freetard. I do find it frustrating that I can't mark up a copy of an email to describe a complex technical issue with key items highlighted in colour or embedded diagrams without the distinct possibility of the resulting email being screwed up simply because MS would rather I buy a $500 office suite to send emails.

" Does it not occur to the freetard brigade that their are probably single organisations with more than 20,000 Outlook users alone, let alone worldwide. The idea that it represents a "significant" amount is laughable"

What is laughable is to think that MS still control standards. If you actually had read the site, they point at stats which indicates that Outlook 2007 is about 7% of the market (likely to be over-represented as Gmail does not show up as much). You think 7% of the users should simply not get the rendering of documents right? The odd thing, is that IE8 render engine could get it right; but MS choose not to use it.

taken a look If the success of new standard compliance browsers like FF over IE6/IE7 is

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Bronze badge
Stop

@What?

This campaign wasnt started by outlook users, it was started by spammers complaining that their carefully crafted spam doesn't display the way they want to in outlook

I'm a heavy outlook user, solicited emails from people I want to receive email from, no matter which email client they used to compose the message always display perfectly in outlook

Do you really want outlook changing just to please the spammers?

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Thumb Down

Stop whining about HTML email

Who ever said that it is the professional designers who are being hit by this hit the nail on the head. My clients task me (and pay me) to create HTML emails for them - often from pre-existing designs. Therefore why should I suffer just because one particular client (which like it or not has a monopoly) refuses to follow specific standards (or at least try).

It took me an extra 2 hours tinkering with code to get it displaying correctly in outlook 2007 - why should I have to endure that?

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Pint

Entertaining

Now that I am on a MAc 24/7 I find it rather amusing to see people jumping through hoops just to be able to continue using Microsoft's software. I mean, why bother? When do people reach the point where they just throw up their hands in desperation and kick MS to the curb.

Yes, Macs are more expensive, but my Hackintosh was only three hundred euros, and works like a dream. As soon as I open the lid it has woken from sleep, one second later it has reconnected me with my wifi, it can stay on standby for several days. I only use my iMac these days for entertainment (Plex ftw!) and my Mini 9 for actual work.

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Flame

Embrace extend extinguish ha ha ha ha

“There is no widely-recognised consensus in the industry about what subset of HTML is appropriate for use in email for interoperability. The ‘Email Standards Project’ does not represent a sanctioned standard or an industry consensus in this area,”

So they'll make emails in Word format because obviously the industry must have reached a consensus about that being the new standard while we weren't looking.

Email should be plain text, replys at the bottom, lines preceeded by an indent symbol (usually ">"). Any other information that requries specific layouts can be sent as attachments. This worked fine for many years... until Outlook came along.

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Coffee/keyboard

@Rod MacLean

"So they'll make emails in Word format because obviously the industry must have reached a consensus about that being the new standard while we weren't looking."

Er no... outlook sends emails in either plain text, rich text or HTML. Word may be used to edit/view the email but it is still transmitted under a standard format

And (not aimed at you Rob) outlook is an email client, not a web browser so it isn't the place for a "rich media experience"

Next thing the web 2.0 hacktards will want is flash embedding into emails. When will it end?

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Anonymous Coward

wrong target

"The largest backer of the so-called Email Standards Project may well be a company who sells a spamming, sorry "email marketing", tool "

If you read their T&C and forums the company in question is vehemently anti-spam, - no purchased lists, all recipients must be knowingly signed up - preferably using double opt-in which they provide. They refuse to send mail without an instant opt out link and a genuine senders email address. They have forum users complaining that it's all too easy to get your account there closed because of even just a handful of spam complaints. Look to me like they are trying hard to be an example of best practise. And the "problem" spammers will expect to pay a lot less than one US cent per recipient. Take a look at their client list: Intel, Nike, WWF, Ebay - all spammers by your definition.

There is such a thing as bulk email that is not spam, I get "The Register" daily email - and I don't consider it spam, do you? (BTW I get plain text, it would be even better as HTML - is that an option?).

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Anonymous Coward

Yesssss why of Course Microsoft listens - to their own bullshit

I remember when I first got into the net and all the naked women on it.... some sites promoted their own cause in popularity by immediately sending 2000 + pop-up adds onto ones screen......

Of course the only browser I had then was Internet Exploder........ so I searched around and tried different browsers - an being poor and on dial up, speed was also a consideration.

First major improvement - Opera - small, light, fast and it had pop-up BLOCKING.......

Yay! said me, and Mr Fisty - and my excelling skills at one handed typing.

BUT did you know it despite my complaints about the LACK of pop up blockers, and no doubt the complaints of 10's of thousands or millions of other people on the subject to Microsoft - it took MS around 7 years to finally getting around to stopping one of the most vicsiferal advertising techniques ever invented!

NO SHIT.

Toss in when windows 95 came out - they had deliberately restricted the search funtion to ONLY search for files, from programs made by Microsoft......

NO SHIT.

All the great innovations ever pulled by Microsoft have basically been stolen or copied from everyone else AFTER the other people had brought it onto the market AGES ago.

This company and it's software STINKS......

As fas as MS implementing "universally agreeable" standards for HTML coding in Emails....

Yeah, they will do it about 6 years AFTER I can blow smoke rings out my arse.

Another GREAT reason to dump the company of idiots and move to Linux....

(Thanks to Microsofts greedy corporate stupidity - I am now very, very HAPPY with Ubuntu)

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Anonymous Coward

The genie is out of the box and it's not going to go back in

Look I want to receive html mail, you don't.

Why do you want to deny me that ability?

If you don't want html click on "read all messages in plain text" or use a text-only mail reader.

If you don't want spam use some decent filters.

Set some filters to bin mail with HTML in it if you like.

If you've got buddies who insist on inserting html educate them or put them on your kill list.

You may believe "email should only be plain text" but, irreversible fact, most popular email clients offer the option of including html and it's not going to go away. You are pissing in the wind.

They seem to be going backwards so maybe MS aim is to progressively strip out function 'till all that's left is text - I suspect there'd be no users of outlook left either.

As it's here to stay it would be nice if there was a good level of interoperability. Maybe only consensus driven de-facto standards but in any case not proprietary ones.

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WTF?

The reason Microsoft are not supporting two editors, it's cheaper

The real reason that Microsoft are not supporting two editors and just Word, is that it is cheaper for them to support and develop.

I think there is a always going to be a difference of opinion in what we should and should not receive by email, but look at how well tools like the iPhone are doing as they add extra elements of interactivity. Let’s see how Google Wave changes the landscape still further.

The reason for allowing good creative (this is always subjective) in an email is to help the reader quickly digest what the email is about and then decide if they want to continue.

When companies are sending HTML or plain text emails it should be down to how the recipients interacts which dictates the future format of emails they receive. I can imagine that the profile of those that are against HTML is very similar, as are those that want it.

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The real reason that Microsoft are not supporting two editors, is money

The real reason that Microsoft are not supporting two editors and just Word, is that it is cheaper for them to support and develop.

I think there is a always going to be a difference of opinion in what we should and should not receive by email, but look at how well tools like the iPhone are doing as they add extra elements of interactivity. Let’s see how Google Wave changes the landscape still further.

The reason for allowing good creative (this is always subjective) in an email is to help the reader quickly digest what the email is about and then decide if they want to continue.

When companies are sending HTML or plain text emails it should be down to how the recipients interacts which dictates the future format of emails they receive. I can imagine that the profile of those that are against HTML is very similar, as are those that want it.

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