Microsoft No Longer Developing Outlook Express

Thursday August 14th, 2003

Several people wrote in to tell us that Microsoft is not doing any new development work on Outlook Express, the company's free mail and newsgroups client, which is bundled with both Internet Explorer and Windows. The emphasis for home users will now be placed on Hotmail and MSN, while corporations will be reminded that they should have been using Outlook all along. Many MozillaZine readers have noted the opportunity that this presents for Mozilla Thunderbird, the Mozilla project's standalone mail and newsgroups program. While the first milestone of Thunderbird has only recently been released, the application is based on the mature codebase of the Mozilla Application Suite's Mail & Newsgroups component. Microsoft's cancellation of further Outlook Express development follows on from the company's announcement that it will offer no further upgrades to the standalone Windows version of Internet Explorer and its decision to end development of IE for Mac OS X.

Update: J. A. Prufrock wrote in to tell us that Microsoft is now saying Outlook Express will continue to be developed after all. Microsoft's about-turn in its public statements is nothing new: shortly after the news broke that there would be no further standalone versions of IE for Windows, the company stressed that it was in fact too early to discuss its long-term plans for the browser.

#1 Something to think about

by pcabellor

Thursday August 14th, 2003 6:26 AM

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With this last movement, MS seems to be focusing on services and subscriptions for the consumer market, and trust its previous software development may have gained enough traction for them to move this same consumers to paid services. This may prove that, logically, there is no real money on free consumer software but as a "need maker", at least for MS or whatever developer. of course this is not the case for enterprise software where services may easily become the ROI on initial development.

Anyway, these are good news for Mozilla products as there will appear a whole new market segment left alone with a non mature product. Hope Mozilla mail client may come soon.