I just got a new Windows 8 laptop and needed to decide whether to buy
Microsoft Outlook. I recently downloaded Windows Live Mail and it seems very
similar to Outlook which I’ve always used in the past – and unless I’m missing
something it’s all I need. Do you know whether the program will be discontinued
and if so, should I just buy Windows Outlook 2010? I hope you can answer my
question. The Microsoft techs are not knowledgeable and only read what’s on the
In this excerpt from Answercast #88 I look at some of the history and
between Outlook and Windows Live Mail, and give a tentative comparison.
Outlook vs. Windows Live Mail
Ultimately, I find this to be more of a personal decision than a technological one.
Windows Live Mail, the downloadable program, is in my opinion, a subset of a program like Outlook.
Outlook is huge. It has every feature you could possibly want in an email program – and then some. So, if you’re comfortable with Outlook I think grabbing Outlook and running with Outlook may very well be the way to go.
If you like the looks of Windows Live Mail, well that may be okay too.
Outlook has history
The only caveat I have is one based on history – and that simply is this: Microsoft Outlook has been around for a long time. It’s been around for at least a decade. Probably a long time more. Probably closer to 15 or 20 years by now.
Windows Live Mail and the mail programs that it replaces, have had a much more problematic history. Outlook Express is where it started. That is no longer supported and hasn’t been supported for a very long time.
That was replaced by Windows Mail that came with Vista. Well, that isn’t around anymore.
That then got replaced with Windows Live Mail. The one you’re talking about now. Is that going to go away some day? Is that going to be replaced by something else? I don’t know. I think Microsoft’s strategy around free email programs has a tendency to kind-of sort-of change from time to time.
That would make me a little uncomfortable. Particularly, if you’re comfortable with Microsoft Outlook and Outlook 2010, I’d be tempted to just go with what you know and install that.
(Transcript lightly edited for readability.)
Next from Answercast 88- How do I get Firefox to work properly on my Windows 7 x64 system?