This blog is where I post about my consulting work with Microsoft Technologies, and other random tidbits that don't fit in my Photo Blog or my Iraq Blog.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Outlook - Gmail emoticon wierdness

I've been getting some emails lately at my personal Gmail account from people at Microsoft with a freestanding "J" or "L" at the end of some sentences... emoticon like syntax and placement, but more cryptic... I thought I had missed the memo on some new internet meme or shorthand, but it turns out it's just a "feature" of how Outlook translates some standard emoticons into images.

Here is a test message in Outlook.

And here is how the message was received in Gmail.

Proving yet again that Microsoft and Google just don't want to talk to each other... :-) (or should I say J)


PitchforkJesus said...

I think Outlook may have some sort of handler that knows and converts :) to the Wingdings equivalent. If you look at Wingdings, J and L are smilie and frownie faces. That probably doesn't get carried over when sent to webmail clients.

Jimaginary said...

Bit late to the party here but oh well.

Cheers for solving something that had been bugging me for a while.

My feeling is that the fault lies squarely with MS - if the user has typed ":)", then that's what should be sent, not a character from a different font. (How does hotmail handle these, by the way?)

I've always disliked the replacement emoticons used by chat programs and so on. To me much of the charm is in the simplicity and hence the room for interpretation, so to have ":)" replaced by someone else's idea of what a smilie should look like is similar to seeing the 'wrong' actor play a character in the film version of your favourite book.

My two cents, anyway...