This may seem like old news to someone who’s stayed in the loop (I hadn’t), but as of June 30th 2008 – officially – Outlook Express users could no longer access their email via Outlook Express. Instead, Microsoft decided to force everyone to download their newer Windows Live Mail program (an edition of which was included with Vista from the start).
I don’t know the reasoning behind this other than the branding exercise whereby MS have tried to tie together all their online packages – the toolbar, MSN, Messenger, Mail and so on. Simply, it just makes things complicated for the very casual user when their email stopped working for no apparent reason.
Which is what happened to a friend today. Almost a year after the cut-off date that they knew nothing about. On their work’s email.
Yes, I know having your work email on a freebie service like Hotmail (or is it Live Mail these days?) isn’t ideal but that’s what they’d gone with and it worked for them. As I said, until today when they could receive mail but sending it gave a “host not found” error. Strange as manually entering the host address into Firefox resolved it no problem.
The solution to the issue is simple – download Windows Live Mail from this link and install it. Make sure you un-tick all the boxes for the other stuff you might not want (there are six or seven packages listed) and let the install run. Once it’s in, give it your Hotmail login details and then allow it to search for your Outlook Express installation. It’ll pull in all your contacts, folders and email. Then ditch OE.
Simple, easy… and pointless. Also surprising, given that the official cut-off date was almost a year ago. I guess it’s just one of those things that’s taken time to propagate across the servers.
But, really – making people change program not just have an upgrade?