Outlook HTML…. holy shit that’s bad.

Recently, I made up a HTML template to use with some summaries we send out to clients – I thought it would look a bit more professional than our existing text with an attached PDF.

I got the HTML looking nice, plugged it into the VS project, and generated some emails…

<eyes pop from sockets> Holy shit that looks terrible! The rendering is all over the place!

After a bit of poking around the web, I found that the rendering engine for outlook since 2007 has been the word html rendering engine – and to say its an unpopular choice would be a massive understatement.

My campaign looks bad in Outlook

It’s Not You, It’s Outlook – The Complete Guide for Email Marketers

A Guide to Rendering Differences in Microsoft Outlook Clients

Microsoft defends Outlook HTML decision

 

I ended up “editing” my html with word, accepting that it was never going to look good, saving the massively increased html “template” – and using that.

It looks nowhere near as good, the HTML content has gone from 1k to 41k and I have learn the valuable lesson of checking before saying “how hard can something really basic like that be?” to coders when they cannot do something that, on the face of it, would seem incredibly basic.

Good work Microsoft – your ability to introduce absurd amounts of complexity for no benefit is second only to the Australian federal government.

Microsoft culture change to non-sales focused ?

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/satya-nadella-just-fixed-microsofts-biggest-problem-chris-dodds?trk=hp-feed-article-title-like

I’ll believe it when I see it. For an organisation that is so incredibly entrenched in the culture of selling first and not bothering if the product actually meets customer needs or not – and even worse, very skilled in repositioning the problem as the solution, its a massive claim and would be a massive change.

 

IT support for family and friends

“Hayes…. my Microsoft is doing something weird and when I replied to an email telling me I had won $2 million, a big red message popped up because of YOUR antivirus”

I know I’m not alone in receiving phone calls like this – but it still amazes me.

Computing and technology is not going away any time soon, but for some reason, when talking about anything related to this area – its socially acceptable to put it in the “its hard, so I can be vague, use incorrect terms, give you zero actual information about the issue – and then get shirty when you don’t fix it in 5 seconds!”

hotmail/outlook.com/LiveID constant security prompts

Dear Microsoft – Logging on to outlook.com or a service which uses a Microsoft/Live ID from a different IP address does not fucking constitute “unusual activity”; subsequently blocking access to the account with security measures that

a) are invasive

b) don’t fucking work (the text messages only sometimes come through and when they do – its in 8-16 hours time)

c) are unnecessary for some (if not many) accounts

At least provide the option to opt out of such silly “security” measures.

(oh and I love the irony of the cloud services that are available from “anywhere”…. except if anywhere has a different IP address to the one you used when you last logged on….)

The wastage of the MS partner program….

Over the years, the Microsoft partner program rubbish has built up. I have requested that we no longer be sent the DVD’s, plaques etc…. but at the time (granted, this was years ago) – i was told that was not an option – and asked the courier to no longer deliver packages from MS.

Not sure if it has now changed – but i sure hope so….. imagine this amount of completely and utterly useless junk multiplied by x million partner organisations around the world.

“Corporate lingo clouding communication”

A story today on the Australian ABC news website (Australia’s only channel that actually gets anywhere near reporting real news) around “corporate lingo clouding communication – i.e. the use of wank words cost people their lives in recent busfires.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/10/07/2707490.htm

I dont think this comes to a surprise to anyone with a brain – stating things in an obtuse and intentionally difficult way (along with leaving out vital parts of information) makes life harder for everyone – what a shock.

While i understand this is accpeted corporate and government practice, i fail to understand why it remains a popular way to “communicate”. Sure, other wank-word people are impressed by wank words…. but there are still people out there (granted few and far between) who actually like achieving things at work – so why aren’t more of these people kicking heads ?

Scan, scan, scannity, scan

So, over the past few months ive been performing the ultimately fun task of scanning all my bills, statements and various other bits of paper sent to me over the years in the hope that when we do find a house to move to (one day) – we will have substantially less to move… while still having all the records available.

This is one of a multitude of areas where society still flabberghasts me.

So, Bank X (for example) finds it preferable to pay for paper, printing, postage and labour instead of adding an email address field to a database and emailing the statement.

From the customer end, i recieve the statement, scan it, rename it appropriately, shred it and recieve letters from the institution constantly telling me how the cost of business is rising and theremore fees to me are being increased (or my favoutie ones are from a large energy retailer in australia…. 16 pages of high-gloss brouchure telling me how their benefitting the environment)

Does anyone see an opportunity for efficiency gains here?

While i realise that not everyone understands how to make a file system easily searchable (yet another thing thats baffles me!) and that email has a percepetion that its unsecure (which, SMTP, by its nature, is) – were not talking about national secrets here. I also get that some people dont pay their bills on time, and would use email as an exuse…. but why punish the rest of us?

Banks, energy providers, councils etc – get the fuck out of the 1920’s and join the rest of us in the real world.