Soon in a Mail Box Near You: Internationalized Email Addresses
The EAI working group of the IETF has finished (part of) its work on the interationalization of email addresses. This, together with Internationalized Domain Names (IDN) will make it possible to send email messages to non-7 bit ASCII addresses e.g. måtte@københavn.dk or 中国@中国.中国 .
There are 3 RFCs, covering changes to the SMTP protocol, e-mail message format and delivery Status Notifications.
They still have the “Experimental” status, meaning they are not yet a standard. How long this will take to see them in actual products is difficult to guess. Software vendors tend to look at market demand before implementing new features . Hence, it is time to pressure your favourite e-mail client vendor. Tell them you need that. For Microsoft Outlook, you could try here. For Apple Mail, there. For Mozilla Thunderbird, still somewhere else.
Written by Patrick Vande Walle, CTO (Chief Travelling Officer) for .sport