By Leo Notenboom
I rarely make negative comments about specific programs or products. I
prefer instead to present a more positive view of the products that I like and
recommend rather than saying bad things about the products I don’t.
Not long ago, Microsoft introduced the Internet Explorer 6
countdown in an effort to publicize the fact that there’s no valid reason
to continue to use IE6. Its days are over. IE7, 8 and 9 are all available,
more stable and more importantly, more secure. (And, of course, there’s a host of
other browsers as well, but I’m not shocked to find that fact missing from the
In my opinion, they didn’t go far enough. It’s time for another program of
that same era to go away.
Outlook Express must die.
Outlook Express Loses Email
This is purely empirical, based on the problem reports that I’ve gotten from
people over the last seven-plus years of doing Ask Leo!
Next to email account thefts, the biggest problem that I hear about is people losing email, often forever, while using Outlook Express. It happens so much that I cringe whenever I see a question come in that mentions it; I know that the news will not be good.
Anyone who’s mistakenly answered “Yes” to the “Compact Now?” prompt has
probably felt the pain. (Hint: Don’t do it.)
Outlook Express’ storage format is apparently fragile, difficult to backup
in a way that’s useful for anything other than a complete restore, and almost
impossible to repair without expensive third-party tools.
Outlook Express is No Longer Supported
The last time Microsoft included Outlook Express with a browser was with Internet
Explorer 6. The fact that they’re now actively discouraging IE6’s use should
tell you something about Outlook Express.
There are no more releases, no more bug fixes, and precious little help if
you have a problem.
Microsoft removed Outlook Express from Windows Vista, and there’s no way to
get Outlook Express in Windows 7 short of running a complete copy of Windows XP
in a virtual machine (“XP Mode”) – and even that only for Windows 7 Pro or
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