• Oliver Jones (google)

    Always called it "Lookout" when generating messges for it.

  • Paul Nickerson (google)

    Huh, I didn't know Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 was still in its support lifecycle. Extended support ends 10/10/2017.

  • bvs23bkv33 (unregistered)


  • Bob (unregistered)

    Outlook a.k.a. Windows backdoor.

  • foxyshadis (unregistered)

    Word's HTML handling has always been proprietary and completely terrible, since at least version 2000. On the other hand, if you save it in the "Filtered" format, the formatting is mostly broken, and still ugly as sin.

    I'm going to go out on a limb and lay the blame of it crashing whole PCs at the feet of some terrible antivirus or other buggy corporate driver, though, since a user-facing application can't generally bluescreen a PC. Not even Outlook.

  • ApoY2k (unregistered) in reply to Paul Nickerson

    As if that ever made any company switch products.

  • Stockholm (unregistered)

    I guess then it's not so much a condition as an ultimatum. Upgrade or else...

  • Dave (unregistered)

    I used to work for a company that made a tidy sum from an MS Word template that produced clean XHTML rather than the standard bloatware that native MS Word produced.

  • Vilx- (unregistered)

    Oh, my god, PLAINTEXT emails are just the worst thing ever. The WORST.

    But, seriously, they are annoying. Emails need formatting.

  • Chronomium (unregistered)

    WYSIWYG editors are both a necessary evil and necessarily evil.

  • Ann Onymous (unregistered) in reply to foxyshadis

    "I'm going to go out on a limb and lay the blame of it crashing whole PCs at the feet of some terrible antivirus or other buggy corporate driver, though, since a user-facing application can't generally bluescreen a PC. Not even Outlook."

    Challenge accepted.

  • Quite (unregistered) in reply to Dave

    Could have used that in another life.

    I was responsible for leading a team who maintained some developer docs, back in the dawn of time before the internet was completely ubiquitous. We had a proprietary presentational format for our docs, and we were migrating them to html from our documenter. A straightforward task, but tedious to the extreme, as we were by-and-large carving our html longhand, so to speak, using a text editor on a Digital VAX.

    We got into a rhythm, writing some standard macros for constructs, teaching ourselves how to write internal links and so on, and recreating our styling as we went, teaching ourselves css and so on.

    And then some clown decided to read and edit these files in Word. "But it says: save in HTML!"

  • DQ (unregistered) in reply to Quite

    That's what backups are for.
    Never give anybody a file without keeping a copy :)

  • Conradus (unregistered)

    As the Magic 8-Ball tells us, "Outlook not so good."

  • Sole Purpose of VIsit (unregistered) in reply to Ann Onymous


    You will, of course, be providing an STR as your proof -- or at least a youtube video or equivalent.

    In other news ... as cruddy as Outlook no doubt is in certain deep, dark, corners, you would have thought that the company in question would have caught this sort of thing in functional testing. After all, it appears to be something of a core functionality. And Outlook isn't exactly the most obscure email client/server in the world, is it?

    Or even written their own MAPI or SMTP gateway, again since this is a core bit of product functionality. Not difficult, really; about a couple of hundred lines of code. You could even copy and paste it from CodeProject or StackOverflow.

    Or you could just stuff the whole process up and blame Microsoft. Much easier, that. It's basically the Godwin approach to quality assurance and customer service.

  • RLB (unregistered) in reply to Vilx-

    Plain text emails are the only ones worth reading. HTML emails shift the aim of the mail from communication to razzle-dazzle. IME, 99% of emails which can't be read in plain text are spam.

  • Andreas (google)

    The "Mso..." Style gives away that the code was generated in Micorsoft Outlook. So why would Outlook-generated code kill Outlook?

    oh right... Microsoft

  • I'm not a robot (unregistered) in reply to Sole Purpose of VIsit

    Where are you getting the idea that this company has anything to do functional testing on, let alone somewhere to put this wonderful SMTP code that you propose they write? I see nothing in the article that suggests they're doing anything more than sending invitations using a standard GUI mail client (as someone else mentioned, most likely Outlook itself, albeit a newer version than the one that was crashing).

  • Sole Purpose of VIsit (unregistered) in reply to I'm not a robot

    Just a random guess, because sending these messages appears to be, in large part, the function of how they make money as a company.

    Where are you getting the idea that I am suggesting that they are an IT house? I'm not. They might just as well be a Mom & Pop organisation that generates its revenue by throbulating a third party HTML generator via a separate third party Outlook octubulation in the Cloudz.

    Does it matter either way? If you don't test this stuff, you can expect it to break.

    As to how such a breakage can result, via Outlook 2007, in a BSOD or other machine-gobbling experience ... we have yet to hear any coherent details on that little matter, apparently.

  • Supersonic Tumbleweed (unregistered)

    TRWTF is this abomination

    <span style="font-size:9.0pt;font-family:" verdana",sans-serif;="" mso-fareast-font-family:="" "="" times="" new="" roman";mso-bidi-font-family:arial;mso-fareast-language:en-gb;="" mso-bidi-font-weight:bold"=""> /field1/

    Also I guess I know why they named it Windows. Because a baseball team playing yards away can break it easily.

  • Anonymous Coward (unregistered)

    Barclays still uses Office 2007. Until a few years ago we were giving interns machines running Windows XP.

    We don't move very fast here.

  • MiserableOldGit (unregistered)

    I assumed by crashing what they really meant was the html parser getting stuck in an infinite loop. I know outlook can be shoddy but I also struggle with the idea this could cause a BSOD or similar.

    Anyway, TRWTF is anyone enabling crappy HTML emailing, if Outlook 2007 was vomiting the abomination back then it's the one client worthy of praise ....

  • Steven Don (unregistered)

    With Office 2007, Microsoft switched from using IE's HTML renderer for HTML mail in Outlook to using Word's HTML renderer. This meant more than half of the HTML and CSS standards went unsupported, leaving only a handful of supported things, making pretty much any interesting layout impossible.

    The worst part is that they seem to consider this a feature.

  • Another Anon (unregistered) in reply to Steven Don

    Possibilities about switching the HTML renderer for Office 2007.

    1. After several years of idleness, Microsoft built and released IE7 in late 2006.
    2. Microsoft has been in several lawsuits, including antitrust suits, related to IE.

    Could be several reasons for the switchover. Possibly to keep it closer in format to IE6, for machines that would likely be updated to IE7. Possibly in awareness that they had to keep up with FireFox, and do more "Release Early, Release Often"... which probably had a huge risk with compatibility for a LOT of businesses that used Outlook. Possibly to keep the EU off their back, as tying some other major software package to their web browser would probably have the bureaucrats clutching their pearls and their sternly-worded letters.

    So, it was probably a downgrade, but it wasn't likely made in a vacuum.

  • John A (unregistered)

    This is 2017. Why don't we have emails with Markdown rendering?

  • Ashley Sheridan (unregistered)

    The code in this snippet very much IS part of the WTF. This code doesn't come from a WYSIWYG web editor, it comes from MSOffice programs when you copy and past from MSOffice into the web editor. There are a ton of (admittedly dirty) ways of removing that cruft. It's been a known issue for years, even Firefox 4 had problems with that markup.

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