Winmail.dat - Stuck Between MS Wrongdoings and Apple's Principles

Discussion in 'macOS' started by dudemanbubba, Aug 9, 2013.

  1. dudemanbubba macrumors newbie

    Aug 9, 2013
    Posted this on and I guess they took exception to it and removed it... Just looking for insight.

    I have been a PC user for all of my life (currently 40+), I went all in around November 2011. My most stable mabook pro has been fun and essentially hardware problem free since I got it. However, I find myself daily caught in the struggle of MS doing what they want and Apple refusing to include simple functionality to allow their users to function in a professional environment without considereable headaches. Switching from PC to mac has been interesting. I am pretty good at tinkering and working with new things. There are many things that the mac does differently and I have either embraced the mac way or found ways to make things work the way I was used to.

    The only road block I have been unable to surpass is the dreaded winmail.dat email attachments. I have laboriously tried to come up with fixes, alternatives and work arounds to allow me to collaborate with my Windows and Outlook based clients seamlessly. Before anyone replies with the mantra of Microsoft is doing it wrong, Apple shouldn't have to include errors in their code to appease PC users, etc. I acknowledge that Outlook uses non-industry standard TNEF formatting that is causing the problem. I acknowledge that Apple refuses to include the support to allow these files to be opened by their maill app and iOS devises. I only ask that people (Apple's development people, mostly) realize that the mac share of the market is very small and their users have to swim in the main pool.

    Some of my clients are easy to work with and they will gladly make minor adjustments to their email settings to prevent the winmail.dat files from occurring. Others... not so much. Many of those "Others" represent a significant part of my company's income so I am not inclined to tell them to take a hike. I am forced to some how work around these Outlook and Exchange issues myself. Many days I spend a considerable amount of time contorting myself infront of the computer screen simply trying to open email attachments, accept meeting invites and doing mundain things in many steps and the bottom line is that I shouldn't have to... Again, I am not saying this is Apple's fault

    I have used TNEF's Enough which allows me to drop the winmail.dat attachment in it to open the contents. That works for many of the problems when I am at my macbook and have access to it. However, that does not appear to handle Outlook meeting requests and does not help me when I get the culprits on my iOS devices. I have Parallels running Windows with an MS version of Outlook on it to allow me to open attachments with meeting requests on my mac, but then I can't get them to sync well without playing games with my iCloud calendars. I have even resorted to using the Gmail web interface which does a better job of syncing with iCloud since our firm uses the gmail business apps service for our mail system

    I know Apple shouldn't have to and most likely won't do anything. Even moreso, I know that MS won't do anything to prevent their software from sending emails using the TNEF. Maybe this is just a rant with no purpose... I know I am not alone. I just wish Apple could put the "principle" aside to include the ability to open these in the future as a native function of Mail and iOS devices. Am I alone? Has anyone else found themselves in the same situation and found better methods of dealing?
  2. benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Jun 15, 2012
    MS has a long track record of "embrace, extend, extinguish" -- embrace a developing standard, extend it so that their implementation is different from the standard, and extinguish the competition by virtue of their market share.

    So I can see why Apple does not want to give them an inch.
    Apple behaves similarly with other standards and companies. I seem to remember some font issue where Apple implements the standard as written, even if it produces poorer results, and Adobe accommodates the error.

    Philosophically, it comes down to whether Apple should be pragmatic or idealistic.
    I know this doesn't help you. My university admin team sends me email with winmail.dat attachments all the time. I have to reply that the attachment doesn't work; they invariably see it as my fault.

    Apple does include a "Send Windows friendly attachments" option in Mail. Would it be too much for MS to do similar?
  3. satcomer macrumors 603


    Feb 19, 2008
    The Finger Lakes Region
  4. Shamirza macrumors newbie

    Jan 26, 2015
    i am having the same problem.
    the more surprising/frustrating thing is that i purchased Office for Mac in order to make migration from windows to Mac easier.
    however, i faced several issues which do not exists in Windows Office.
    for example, i am still receiving Winmail.dat files as attachments in my emails (opened in Outlook for Mac).
    other big problem is that Office for Mac cannot get synch with my iCloud contacts and calendar.

    I also have to maintain two PCs just for the sake of reading the meeting requests...
    i am now trying the option of running Windows in virtual environment on my Mac to be able to get rid of 2nd PC...
  5. PinkyMacGodess macrumors 601


    Mar 7, 2007
    Midwest America.
    The really messed up thing is that I actually had a client years ago that was receiving these munged up attachments from their corporate headquarters, from Outlook to Outlook with both ends using Windows.

    Fricking Microstuff...

    Ironic, and so very telling that, from what I understand, the Mac version of Outlook doesn't solve this problem.

Share This Page