Email options with Windows 7

Deb Shinder, editor of Win7 News, has some really informative things to say about your email options in Windows 7.

There’s Outlook(of course), but, “you have to pay for it – usually a little under $100 (You can buy Outlook 2007 from Amazon for $87.94 at the time of this writing). To me, it’s well worth the price, since I depend on my email, calendar and contacts for doing business. ”

She gives a little history on why there is no longer an Outlook Express, and what happened to its successor, Windows Mail:
“OE was introduced in 1997 as part of Internet Explorer 4.0 and was included in Windows 98, 2000, Me and XP. Recently, as many XP users have bought new computers that come with Windows 7, they have been unhappy to find that part of Microsoft’s initiative to cut down on “operating system bloat” included leaving out some of the extra applications – such as the email client.

“Microsoft actually dropped OE when they released Vista, which included an updated mail client called Windows Mail. Unlike OE, it wasn’t designed as a part of Internet Explorer, but its interface was very similar to that of OE. One big difference “under the hood” was that WM stored messages as individual files, rather than in one big database file as OE did. This was a very good change, since with OE if the single file got corrupted, you lost all of your messages. Windows Mail also added better security, including the SmartScreen filter and phishing filter. Windows Mail also blocks certain attachment types, and although you can disable this, you can’t granularly allow those attachments only from specific senders.

There were some other changes that weren’t so great, too. Many folks were not happy that Windows Mail didn’t allow for management of multiple identities like OE did. In fact, it will consolidate your identities into a single user profile if you upgrade from OE. Another point of dissatisfaction: Windows Mail couldn’t be configured to use a web-based email account such as Hotmail or Gmail”

So, besides Outlook, what can you use with Windows 7?

Thunderbird(from Mozilla, makers of Firefox); Windows Live Mail (the current successor to Outlook Express, downloadable from Microsoft); and numerous others.