Friday, June 22, 2012

Trash Emails having winmail.dat - non-standard 'Rich Text Format'

The Problem:

Microsoft only nonsense such as 'Rich Text Format' email container.

Not an Internet standard. Has no place in any modern mail program.

Rationale: For small and medium enterprises around 3/4 of the mail you send will be to external companies over the internet.

Those companies might be reading it on a Samsung Galaxy, Ipad, smartphone, or at their desks.

Internet standards for email exist and should be adhered to in order that your audience reach is maximised.

Hey I could fire up a ZX spectrum tomorrow and attempt to have it serve 1980s html to all website visitors. But I would be using a technology that did not maximize my audience reach.

Gmail filter - part 1:

Gmail filter - part 2:

This is all a bit radical - shouldn't we educate users?

Here are some links to help you do just that:
Note: 'Convert to HTML format' is what you might set.

Personally I prefer plain text for emails, but in the spirit of interoperability, and preserving features...

'Convert to HTML format' is the least departure from what the Sender originally intended.

If the sender originally intended plain text, then the whole winmail.dat thing would probably not happen anyway, provided the user is sufficiently competent with their email program.

Surely Microsoft themselves are aware of & are educating their own users?

Sorry for helpless.

If there was sufficient education from the vendor, then people like this would not have to seek help via web forums:

I use Aol 9.6 and Outlook 2010 on my compaq computer. Recently I cannot send email attachments from my Aol or Outlook 2010 to certain recipients...

Internet email standards - where can I look them up?

RFC 5322 specifies the standard for Internet email.
( RFC 5321 is worth a read also. )

There have been more recent standards efforts and here is Wikipedia for further reading: