A recent spam email from the folks at http://fixoutlook.org inspired me to reconsider what really is wrong with email. If I were to list the things about email that frustrate me the most, the arrival of unwanted messages from sources like this group are probably at the top of my list.
How important is HTML for composing an email message? My schedule barely affords me enough time to actually complete authoring an email, much less go about bolding text or adding background colors to random paragraphs. For those who are concerned about email format, they are also generally responsible for cluttering my inbox with various unwanted messages. In nearly all cases, my spam filters catch these messages and quickly move them into a bit-bucket where they never will be read.
It seems like a lot of work to petition Microsoft for a feature that is only going to benefit the messages I don’t want to receive. For that matter, maybe some of these users should start looking elsewhere for an email client. For example, Mozilla Thunderbird offers excellent HTML support and of course you could always just go and buy a Mac. There is a rather lengthy comparison of the various email clients, I’m sure one of these programs will support CSS and various other HTML markups.
Of course, the original message presented various degrees of failure in each of my mail clients. While this is certainly something they may be looking to prevent, maybe next time they should consider a text-only email instead?
Honestly, I don’t think the real failure of email is the inability to create formatted message with HTML or any other kind of layout for that matter. If there was some way to eliminate the 97% of my†email that is spam, the infrastructure costs (storage, network traffic, electricity, HVAC, etc.) would let me hire a staff of developers to write my own HTML+CSS compliant email client.
Forget about fixing Outlook, let’s fix SMTP first.