Outlook Express, the famous and free email client from Microsoft, came pre-installed with Windows 98 and Windows XP (maybe Windows ME too, but I am not sure – no personal experience). It was (and might still be) the most popular email program in the world because it was so simple to use.
Anyone with a little computer knowledge could set up an email account and start receiving and sending emails in minutes. Also with the countless pages of support and help available online, books and third-party tools, the program was very well embraced.
Outlook Express was also included with Internet Explorer download file starting version 4.0 of the program so if you installed the web browser, Outlook Express would also be added to the list of programs on your computer. FYI, Microsoft has released Internet Explorer version 7, though I.E. 6 might was still available for download from the Microsoft web site.
With the launch of I.E. 7, users thought that Microsoft would release a new version of Outlook Express, but that did not happen. Instead, the produced a new program, Windows Mail, which they set as the default email client on their Vista operating system. Windows Mail and Outlook Express are comparable. They have similar interfaces and essentially the same features and ease of use. Though Windows Mail was based on Outlook Express it included a couple of new utilities – an automated Junk email filter and a quick email search. So it would not be incorrect in considering Windows Mail as the new version of Outlook Express.
But things took a different turn. Microsoft has stopped the development and support for both Outlook Express and Windows Mail. They released a still newer email client which they named Windows Live Mail.
Windows Live Mail installation program can be downloaded from the Live web site as a separate installation and not bundled with Internet Explorer 7. This new software offers a lot many features over its predecessors. Not only is it an email and news client but expands its functionality to Web 2.0 (whatever that is!) by having a RSS reader and a blogging tool. Furthermore, you can customize the interface of this program to increase your productivity.
In addition to an automated Junk email filter, a super fast email search facility and multiple email account set-up, Windows Live Mail has a Photo email feature that would benefit several of us who love to use our digital cameras and share photographs with family, friends and colleagues. Photo email is a smart utility that lets you send high resolution photographs without cluttering the inboxes of the recipients. As you would know, photographs taken using a decent digital camera can be about 1Mb and more. Now Photo email, lets you attach these large files to your email, but the recipients get to see only thumbnails and as with other things with this program, you can customize the size and look of these smaller sized images. The larger version of the photograph is displayed ONLY if recipients click on the thumbnail which means they have expressed a desire to download the large file. The full-sized versions of the photographs are stored at a “private web location”.
So if your computer runs Windows Vista, I highly recommend forgetting Outlook Express (even Windows Mail) and downloading the latest Windows Live Mail email client. You would be able to integrate all your email accounts at one place including those from Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo!Mail. This web site also has a separate section for tips and tricks and general help on Windows Live Mail.
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