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.
#3 Good News & Bad News
Thursday August 14th, 2003 7:12 AM
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Well, this is both good and bad for Mozilla.
The good news is, it opens up the market. Despite Microsoft's best efforts, I know of very few people who actually use Outlook for Mail/Schedule Management (other than myself, but that was before I used Mozilla). It opens up the market for products such as Firebird (Mozilla Browser), Thunderbird (Mozilla Mail/news) and Sunbird (Mozilla Calendar[?]) as standalone tools. Also, the Suite, with its seamless integration
However, it is also bad news. It means that the pressure is on, if Mozilla wants to claim a decent portion of the market. Since neither Fb, Tb, or Sb are ready for full deployment, the Mozilla Foundation has a lot of "catching up" to do. The Suite is excellent and seamless, but still is not popular enough for commercial use.