Question from a reader: I was an avid Outlook Express user, and later in Vista, that became Windows Mail. Now that I have Windows 7 that is no longer possible but I am stuck with Outlook or Thunderbird. Everywhere an explanation is given to integrate Windows Mail into Windows 7, but I have not yet succeeded. Have you ever covered this and/or where can I find it?
Our answer: Microsoft has removed the mail program from the installation of all Windows 7 versions, but that does not mean that you are at the mercy of commercial (Outlook) or free (Mozilla) alternatives. The successor to Outlook Express (XP) and Windows Mail (Vista) is called Windows Live Mail. The program is missing from the default installation of Windows, but you can get it for free.
Windows Live Mail is bundled in Windows Live Essentials. These are some (also free) programs that you don't necessarily need. So pay close attention during the installation of Windows Live Essentials to avoid installing unnecessary extras and changing the Internet Explorer search engine and homepage. Furthermore, the operation of Windows Live Essentials is, except for a few layout changes, fairly comparable to Outlook Express and Windows Mail. However, the menu bar (File, Edit, etc.) is not present by default. You bring it up by pressing the Alt key.
The Windows Live Mail e-mail program is not present by default in Windows 7, but must be installed separately via Windows Live Essentials.