The fixoutlook.org project been quite the adventure since we launched it 10 weeks or so back. The aim of the site was to confront Microsoft about their lack of web standards support in Outlook and encourage them to reconsider their approach in Office 2010. It was a lofty goal to be sure, and many wrote our efforts off saying it would fall on deaf ears.

I think it’s safe to say the success of the project surpassed even our best expectations. In the interest of posterity and to relive everything one last time, here’s a quick timeline of the ups and downs of the campaign since it launched in June.

June 24: 20,000 tweets in 24 hours

Site is launched late Sydney time and we watch anxiously as the tweets start to spread across Twitter. We pass more then 20,000 mentions on Twitter in less than 24 hours and (guiltily) knock Iran off as the hottest trending topic.

Outlook 2010 is the most popular topic on Twitter

June 25: Microsoft respond

June 25: Microsoft provide a rather disappointing response to the campaign, claiming that Word does a great job of rendering HTML and there are no such things as standards for email (they’re called web standards). They receive hundreds of unhappy comments in a few hours and quickly disable them. We post a follow up to their response.

A disappointing response from Microsoft

June 26: Coverage all over the web

We pass 24,000 mentions on Twitter and the campaign gets coverage across the web including CNN, Reuters, CNET and TechCrunch.

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July 14: The Fix Outlook Mosaic

We create a huge mosaic poster of everyone who supported the campaign and send it to the Vice President of Office at Microsoft.

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August 11: Microsoft asks, customers answer

Two Microsoft team members launch makeofficebetter.com and fixing the HTML rendering in Outlook shoots to the #1 request, where it has stayed to this day.

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August 21: The Fix Outlook Mosaic on the wall at Redmond

Microsoft send a personal note to us from the VP of Office thanking us for the feedback and show photos of the mosaic on the wall at Redmond. They explain the feedback has been taken on board and that they want to continue working with us to improve this part of Outlook.

Microsoft prove they're listening

August 22: We’re nominated for the Best of the Web Awards

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In a final compliment to round out the project, we were lucky to be nominated as one of the best sites of the year for .net magazine’s Best of the Web Awards. We’re in the Infamy category (actually Outlook is in the Infamy category), so please jump in and add your vote if you haven’t already. Winning that award will only help to promote the campaign to a new audience.

  • Joshua Russell

    Awesome! This is a great achievement for everyone involved. Hopefully now Microcrap will take everyones advice, and fix what is possibly the worst email client on the market.

  • Graham

    What a great campaign.
    I am proud to be a part of it!

    I really beleive that it is initiatives like this that alter the course of history.
    Let’s hope that Microsoft makes the change.

  • Kevin

    Not to be a downer, but I don’t follow how a photograph of a few Microsoft employees in front of your sign indicates that HTML rendering in Outlook 2010 will be improved.

  • David Greiner

    Kevin, what it does indicate is that Microsoft are actually listening to this feedback. I think it’s also worth noting that they likely wouldn’t go to the trouble of taking these shots and making them public if there wasn’t at least the possibility that some positive changes are being considered.

    Considering all the other issues they need to weigh this request up against, I think they did a fantastic job in turning a negative into a positive.

  • Matthew Magain

    Great stuff guys, well played all round.

  • filmy online

    Heheheh , graet stuffff:D

  • David Haywood Smith

    Such an awesome effort guys – top job!

  • chris wyatt

    Glad to have helped in the cause. But look forward to continually helping as well!

  • Bryan

    I’m glad you guys actually accomplished your goal on this one it will definitely make things better down the road. It’s great to see the internet winning corporation battles.

  • Joe Marty

    This is really great news! And a good gesture of responsiveness and collaboration from the Outlook team! I’m impressed and very hopeful for one of the most widely-used e-mail clients to become more web-developer-friendly :)

  • Thomas Duncan

    I like soda and pie and Campaign Monitor! Nice work, folks.

  • Joe Marty

    P.S. I wish Google would follow Microsoft’s cue on this one ;)

  • Ollie

    Superb effort guys.

  • Robert Campbell

    Agreed, kudos to you.
    I have been turning off “Word as editor” in Outlook for my clients for years!!
    Thanks for the efforts… of everyone.

  • mtron

    Great effort. You have made a difference! I believe MSFT is sincere in wanting to fix this (in no small part because I bet their own marketing departments also feel the pain and jumped on the campaign!).

  • Guy Mann Dude

    But how many more customers did you get from this exercise?? That’s what I want to know! ;^)

    Well done

  • Christopher Guillou

    What a story !
    Ah the web….

  • Pedro G. Acevedo

    Kudos to all those who coordinated, and participated in, the campaign. I was very skeptical at first, but the results speak for themselves. I wish you the best and hope Outlook 2010 gets the appropriate fixes so we can make HTML email look even better.

  • Janet Gillis

    About TIME!! Finally maybe Microsoft will fix the annoying backwards workings of Outlook so we don’t have to do workarounds constantly!

  • Brent

    It isn’t done until its done…and a few years later.

    Even if Microsoft fixed everything we’ll still have to contend with old versions of Outlook for several years. The sooner the better and this excellent campaign appears to have influenced Microsoft to make the fixes sooner. Thanks!

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