Outlook 2002, however, began a change in course where Outlook was no longer a priority for displaying web content. The intent was web browsing should ideally be handled by dedicated web browsers that are specifically designed to stay up-to-date with emerging web-based technologies. The folder home page feature and Web toolbar remained in the product for backwards compatibility reasons although they were no longer a design focus.
Even in older versions of Outlook, not all web pages functioned as they did in a web browser because Outlook did not support the concept of multiple sessions. Some web pages were not able to launch other web pages in the same way as they could in a browser. Also, over time, HTML-based content became more complex, involved more XML, and supported newer technologies that were not specifically designed to work within Outlook. For example, Outlook folder home pages cannot display client-side XML that is used by Silverlight.
While the folder home page feature is still included in Outlook it may not be able to display more advanced web pages that can be displayed in a dedicated web browser. Improvements to the folder home page rendering capabilities will not be made. If there is a web page that can be displayed in a browser but does not work in Outlook, Microsoft does not plan to make changes to Outlook so that these pages can render. In those cases, Microsoft recommends that the page be viewed in a dedicated web browser.
This article will be updated with more information about specific types of web content that does not render in folder home pages as that information becomes available.
- Client-side XML, such as those using Silverlight 4.0. Previous versions of Silverlight were not tested.
- Web pages that depend on passing credentials between web sessions, or otherwise are designed to work across sessions.