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.

#9 MSN Explorer

by rwvaughn

Thursday August 14th, 2003 2:23 PM

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Shelving development of OE following the shelving of standalone IE really comes as no surprise to me. It was actually something I quite expected. Microsoft has been building up to this for sometime afterall with the development of it's MSN Explorer browser. It's just IE with a fancier folksier look. MSN Explorer was intergrated into Windows XP alongside IE 6, but Longhorn will showcase it even more prominently I believe. With hotmail integration in MSN Explorer there was no need for OE. Microsoft will probably also look forward to charging you a fee to access your ISP pop3 account through the integrated hotmail in MSN explorer.