Outlook Express users: move to Windows Live Mail!

I have been a loyal Outlook Express user for many years but recently have started to encounter constant problems such as OE terminating, hanging and deleting my messages when it tried to compact them. And of course OE is a "functionally stabilized" product as IBM would say (i.e. no new releases or bug fixes)! So I started to look for alternatives......

You got mail!

I already have Mozilla Thunderbird installed (an Open Source version of OE) which is pretty OK but I decided to look wider to see if there were any other options.

I am not a big fan of Gmail - until Google allow you the option to switch off the automatic grouping of emails by conversation - otherwise I would have gone for that.

After a few forays into the forums I discovered that Microsoft now offer a free OE replacement - Windows Live Mail(WLM).

I downloaded WLM - installation was straightforward - it imported all my OE contacts, messages and settings (although for some reason it did not import by Sent Messages file and I had to do this via the File Import menu)

So what is WLM like?

Its pretty much functionally equivalent to OE with a few extra features thrown in - such as more options on the layout such as the ability to have different colours for your different email accounts if you are using it to manage multiple email addresses. It also has a build in Calendar.

The spam filter seems quite good - my only gripe is that my Cloudmark collaborative spam filter system does not seem to have a version for WLM yet as far as I could see.

However the main thing is it so far does not fall over (only been using it a week) and hopefully I wont be losing any more email messages.

About Ken Thompson

Ken Thompson is an expert practitioner in the area of bioteaming, swarming, virtual enterprise networks, virtual professional communities, virtual teams and management simulation and has published two landmark books:

Bioteams: High Performance Teams Based on Nature's Best Designs

The Networked Enterprise: Competing for the future through Virtual Enterprise Networks

Ken writes the highly popular bioteams blog which has over 500 articles on all aspects of bioteams (aka organizational biomimicry) - in other words how human groups can learn from nature's best teams.

Ken is also founder of an exciting European technology company Swarmteams which provides unique patent-pending bioteaming technologies for all shapes and sizes of groups, social networks, business clusters, virtual/mobile communities and enterprises. Swarmteams enables groups to be more responsive and agile by fully integrating their mobile phones and the web with bioteam working techniques.

The latest Swarmteams implementation is SwarmTribes which helps social object owners (e.g. musicians/bands, sports teams, film-makers) and good cause sponsors (e.g. Volunteering, Environmental, Public Health) to form unique collaborations with their fans/supporters for mutual benefit.

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can you explain further why you dislike Gmail's forced grouping of emails into conversations. To me, that is one of it's strengths. Where do you find this to be a disadvantage? Am I missing something?


Hi Brian

Thanks for your comment. I guess I like to see my emails in chronological order so that I can easily see whats new and deal with them.

With gmail I find it much harder to work out whats new. Maybe there is something I am missing about how to exploit gmail better?

Best Regards


Brian, I agree, that's why I like Outlook Express as it allows conversation threading intuitively.

Hi Guys

Since I have used WLM for the last 6 months I have been disappointed in its overall robustness and functionality so I would be much less positive about encouraging OE users to migrate to it.

I have also been looking at Thunderbird (from Mozilla) but I am not yet convinced this would be significantlybetter. I was particularly surprised to see that Thunderbird does not yet allow full import from WLM - still only OE.

So I am very open to suggestions and ideas on the question - where to from here for Outlook Express Users???

Best Regards



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