One of the strengths of Twitter is the ability to get quick feedback, but Microsoft might not be seeing it as a positive right now.
The reason the movement have started is that Microsoft intend to use the Word rendering engine to display HTML emails in Outlook 2010, and this means:
for the next 5 years your email designs will need tables for layout, have no support for CSS like float and position, no background images and lots more. Want proof? Here’s the same email in Outlook 2000 & 2010.
That means angry developers, which is never good on the internet. The use of Fix Outlook, which is a nicely presented stream of people ReTweeting the message (HT to Neville Hobson for a nice summary and digging a little into who is behind the site), and the move from core users to mainstream means the site went from 7,500 tweeters at around 1pm UK time on Wednesday to 16,676 just five hours later. And it doesn’t show any signs of slowing down yet!
Especially as it’s now being picked up by the likes of Mashable.
The main questions are how significant Microsoft will see this protest, in comparison to the likely number of potential Office customers who don’t use Twitter and won’t understand or care about tables or CSS – and whether that significance will result in any action on their part.
But even if it’s a small group numerically, considering the relatively high proportion of digital workers and developers using Twitter, it’ll be interesting to see what happens over the next few days.