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.

#42 Re: Re: "It's a good thing"

by asa <>

Friday August 15th, 2003 10:46 AM

You are replying to this message

"OE does NOT suck. In fact, it is arguably the best email/news client out ... The only reason I switched to Thunderbird is that it has the best junk mail detector."

So you've made the determination that junk-mail/spam is a big enough pain in the ass and that OE doesn't solve that major problem for you and thus you switched to Thunderbird? Spam is the bigges usability nightmare for the entire email system, right? Do you think you're alone in having a problem with spam? If not then isn't it likely that OE's lack of strong anti-spam features is going to be a problem for lots of other people? If so then isn't it the case that it's really quite difficult to argue that OE is the best email client when it fails to adequately handle email's biggest problem, spam, for a significant number of users? (and what about all the outlook viruses?)