Outlook Express on Windows 7 and Windows 8 - Where is it?

If you used Outlook Express on Windows XP you may have been surprised that on Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8 it is no longer present.

Microsoft decided to replace Outlook Express with a program called Windows Mail on Windows Vista. Windows Mail missed some of the popular Outlook Express features, like for example Identities but more or less it was the same program. Also, as Windows Vista wasn't so popular operating system and received many critics, a lot of people didn't even use it so lack of Outlook Express and having Windows Mail instead wasn't such a problem at the time.

However, with introduction of Windows 7, many people were once again surprised that Outlook Express and Windows Mail have been completely removed from the system.

To complete their move from Windows Vista, Microsoft replaced Windows Mail with downloadable program package called Windows Live Essentials which also had a program called Windows Live Mail inside the package. Except Windows Live Mail, Windows Live Essentials also contains a couple of other programs like Messenger, Movie Maker but most people were interested of course in Windows Live Mail.

Unfortunately, Windows Live Mail is quite different from Outlook Express and isn't really a substitute - instead it introduced different and more complicated user interface, removed some of the additional features which Windows Mail had and introduced another thing many people dislike - email grouping by accounts, rather than having everything in a single Inbox, Outbox etc. So in fact, if you had multiple accounts, you'd have multiple Inboxes as well. There were options to make Windows Live Mail more comfortable to use but that wasn't it. Additionally, Windows Live Mail was designed not to be an email client for itself but rather a sort of "advertisement" for Microsoft paid services.

If you are looking for Outlook Express substitute on Windows 7 or Windows 8, you can do basically two things - you can either start using Windows Live Mail and adapt to its interface (and be prepared for future surprises) or you can find a replacement program which was designed to be standalone email software.

If you would like to get an alternative program you may be looking for all the essential features from Outlook Express - like support for Identities, placing multiple account emails into a single Inbox, compatible Address Book and a familiar, simple and well-designed user interface.

While maintaining original features, a replacement program must not include deficiencies Outlook Express had - like lack of support for 64 bit newsgroup indexes, yEnc support (both also missing in Windows Live Mail), and other issues it had like for example 2 GB limit per folder file which may have seemed enough at the time but certainly isn't for today's standards as well as common bugs like database corruption.

OE Classic is a replacement for Outlook Express and is available for free download on this web site. At the moment you start using it you will quickly learn it lets you do things Windows Live Mail doesn't allow you to and it is also designed with simple user interface in mind - you will feel right "at home" even from the first start. Needless to say it also supports all of the above mentioned features and fixes the above problems by having a different approach to storing messages.