Outlook Express is an email client. In non-technical terms, it is a program that lets you send and receive emails from your computer. It is one of the most popular email clients in the world simply because it comes free with Internet Explorer (and the Windows operating system).
Since Internet Explorer comes bundled with Windows which is the most popular operating system and it soon became the browser of choice on most desktops since it had some great features when compared to its nearest competition, Netscape Navigator (at that time).
So as Internet Explorer became popular the usage of Outlook Express as the default email client increased to make it the leading email program on the Internet.
If you don’t have Outlook Express, you can simply download the latest version of Internet Explorer. Outlook Express email client will be installed on your system once you install the browser.
Outlook Express Homepage – www.microsoft.com/windows/oe/.
Outlook Express allows you send and receive emails from your computer. The good thing about Outlook Express (or any decent email client from that matter), is that it lets you store the sent and received emails on your system. Thus, Outlook Express acts like a emailing center via which you send, receive, store and collate emails.
Outlook Express, as I mentioned, comes free with Internet Explorer or Windows operating system. It’s a lean and mean email client. Microsoft Outlook on the other hand is an email client but comes at a price. To justify the cost of the software, Microsoft Outlook has tons of features and functionalities which are not present in Outlook Express.
The difference between Outlook Express and an online email service such as GMail, Hotmail, Yahoo! etc. is that it lets you browse, read and compose emails from your computer even when you are not connected to the net. To download emails, you do need to connect to the Internet. Email messages are actually stored on your system, so, you can still read the emails you have received and sent in the past. An online email service works ONLY when you are connected to the net.
Another great feature of Outlook Express (and any other email client worth its salt), is that it lets you read and write emails at your leisure. Let us say you are traveling from Philadelphia to Chicago. You download all your emails via Outlook Express in Philadelphia and then board the flight to Chicago. Now when you open your laptop on the plane and start Outlook Express, you can not only read emails but also write replies and compose new emails. Outlook Express will store all these replies and new emails on your system. Now when you arrive at Chicago, connect to the Internet and open Outlook Express, the program will send the stored email messages.
Outlook Express also lets you segregate email messages into folders. For example, all new emails are stored in the Inbox folder, the emails which you have sent to people will be stored in the Sent Items folder and any emails that have yet to be sent are stored in the Outbox folder. In addition to these three folders, Outlook Express has two more folders. These are the Drafts and Deleted Items folders. The Drafts folder stores email messages that you have composed and saved while the Deleted Items folder contains all the deleted emails. [Note: in order to completely delete the emails from your system you need to empty the Deleted Items folder.]
You can also create folders inside the Inbox folder to further segregate email messages.
FYI, you can configure Outlook Express to segregate incoming email into different folders using rules and filters. For example, potential spam can be junked directly into the Deleted Items folder.
Outlook Express can be used for any POP3 or IMAP email account. POP3, which stands for Post Office Protocol 3, is a set of rules with which one accesses and downloads emails. IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) is a set of rules with which emails are assessed.
If you have a web site hosted on a server, most likely the hosting package would come with a few POP3 email accounts. Thus, firstname.lastname@example.org would most likely be a POP3 email.
Online email services such as Gmail provide free POP3 access to the email account; you should read configure Gmail account on Outlook Express if you want step-by-step instructions on how to do that. Hotmail used to have this feature but it has since discontinued it. Other popular online emails services might charge a small fee for POP3 access.
IMPORTANT: Presumably, the last version of Outlook Express was 6 that came bundled with Internet Explorer. Microsoft has stopped the development of this email program and it no longer comes with the web browser or as a separate download. The company is recommending users download Windows Live Mail, the latest email program from their stables which is like the grand-daddy of Outlook Express. By the way, Windows Mail (similar name!), sometimes considered as Outlook Express new version, came with Windows Vista operating system and was another email software from Microsoft.
If you are looking for installing Outlook Express on a laptop or on a new computer, please refer these links for further information.
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