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.

#20 Re: Something to think about

by napolj2

Friday August 15th, 2003 2:13 AM

You are replying to this message

At the rate MS is going, I wouldn't be surprised if it ends up offering Windows itself as a web subscription service, so that if you don't pay a monthly subscription fee for both Windows and MSN you won't be able to use your PC. This will be done, of course, "to help users keep their versions of Windows up to date and secure" and "to make sure that the user's ISP is fully interoperable with their OS" (just like my school raised graduate tuition rates "to help students graduate faster")

Well, I don't think this news will cause many OE users to switch to Mozilla just yet. Eventually, they will upgrade to a new version of Windows or buy a new PC with the new Windows on it. If they find no free email client on it, then a good number will be angry enough to switch.