The new Hotmail (Outlook) is not so hot…

August 19, 2012 | Written by: jeffrey.friend | Filed under: email marketing

Because we do a lot of email marketing, we are always doing a lot of testing. We need to know that our emails are displaying correctly in all the various email programs and webmail services. Just recently, Microsoft updated the old Hotmail with an all-new webmail client with an all-new name: (a bad move as far as I’m concerned). Clearly I was hoping for the integration of some standard code compatibility, especially in the area of CSS. Unfortunately we were sad to see that it is still the same old Hotmail under the hood. Here’s what we know from some Email-on-Acid testing (get the full details here):

  1. It still ignores the following CSS properties: margin, margin-top, background-image, and position
  2. It still uses the “ExternalClass” container making it difficult to center your email.
  3. * {line-height:142%} is still imposed on your email by default.
  4. They still use Microsoft’s Calibri font by default.
  5. They still use the same DOCTYPE which means spacing will appear below your images in Webkit and Mozilla browsers.
  6. As it is today, does not appear to be compatible with FireFox 3.6.
  7. When trying to open within Safari on my iPad, it redirected to Hotmail.
  8. I don’t see any mobile apps available for on my iOS.

Look mostly like the same old Hotmail to me. ;-(

Speaking of Email Testing

And speaking of testing, we highly recommend Email-On-Acid for an email design and┬ádeliverability testing service. They have a free service with limited testing capability so you can check out the service. You might also want to check out Litmus. They’re a bit more expensive, but also do browser testing as well. Litmus has a 7-day free trial period with access to the full suite of testing tools.


  1. Any ideas on how to override the line-height?

    Comment by Holly — March 25, 2013 @ 1:36 pm

  2. You should be able to set the line-height inline as needed per element, although you might try applying the rule to the html like this:

     * { line-height: 14px; }

    I’ve not tested that, but it’s worth a shot!

    Comment by Jeffrey Friend — March 25, 2013 @ 2:22 pm

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