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Outlook Express development no more

By Julio Franco
Aug 14, 2003
  1. Microsoft has confirmed they are no longer developing Outlook Express and have no plans to update the program in the future. You might remember not so long ago, we reported MS had said something similar regarding IE browser, the fact is, future releases will only be made available as part of the Windows platform & not as standalone releases.

    "[Outlook Express] just sits where it is," said Dan Leach, lead product manager for Microsoft's information worker product management group. "The technology doesn't go away, but no new work is being done. It is consumer e-mail in an early iteration, and our investment in the consumer space is now focused around Hotmail and MSN. That's where we're putting the emphasis in terms of new investment and new development work."

    Microsoft also intends people to upgrade to the full Outlook suite that comes with Office (especially when 2003 comes out). I'm not so sure how I feel about this announcement, although I have the complete Office suite, I'm more than comfortable with OE however I'm also in for any improvements (like in IE vs. Mozilla)... maybe it's a good time for start considering Thunderbird client.
     
  2. obsideo

    obsideo TS Rookie

    Just wondering if the "Thunderbird client" mentioned at the end of your blurb is another version of Mozilla Firebird that is on way.. Or is tht a misprint. :) I've not heard of Thunderbird.
    Cheers!



    *EDIT* OHH! Nevermind. I'm am an *****. :eek:
     
  3. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 7,059   +646

    I see you have noticed now, but to clear things up... Thunderbird, or Mozilla Thunderbird if you want, is an open-source standalone mail client from the Mozilla Foundation.
     
  4. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +7

    Two possibilities:

    1)This is against Bill's true wishes, and is more the result of the anti trust case settlement in some way - i.e. this has been done to satisfy some legal requirement.

    2)They have something MUCH better coming, that will blow away any current browser and e-mail client technology.

    I find 2) hard to believe, since its likely we would have heard about it by now. Dropping support so "suddenly" as this suggests that its more likely 1).

    IMHO, the best thing that Microsoft could do now is make IE, Outlook Express, etc open source, so that it can still be developed, but will also get Microsoft an application footing in the Linux world, as odd as that might sound. Microsoft has spent a lot of money over the years promoting IE as the browser, to let all of that go to waste is stupid.

    It would be nice if now something like Mozilla Thunderbird or whatever you call it has its day, because that would be a common browser and e-mail client across loads of platforms such as Windows, MAC, Linux, etc.
     
  5. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 7,059   +646

    BTW, to clear things up, Microsoft hasn't stopped developing their browser & mail client completely, I'm pretty sure they have new versions on the way (they are not that stupid) HOWEVER they will no longer release new versions to the web as standalone programs, new versions will only be accessable when using new OS versions which means you will have to pay for next-generation Windows to get IE7, for example.
     
  6. TS | Thomas

    TS | Thomas TS Rookie Posts: 1,319

    Hopefully Microsoft won't get the idea that rather than releasing security updates for "old" browsers they can say "this can't be fixed, you'll need to update to windows xp 2 (Or whatever).
     
  7. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +7

    It would be in their interests then to come up with something completely new and brilliant, and bundle it with the next version of Windows as you said. And by the way, I am sure that that is EXACTLY what they are about to start saying....

    But I thought that this sort of thing was what the anti-trust case finally brought legal requirements on Microsoft not to do. I thought that it was the case that the more integrated and less atomic both OS and IE where as seperate entities, the more it annoyed the DOJ, and they wanted the reverse.

    Having the browser upgrade cycle too closely linked to the OS upgrade cycle is essentially just as anti-competitive as what's been already going on.... I don't see this as any kind of step forward.

    Sounds just like another plan to make even more money to me. I thought that Microsoft was JUST OUT OF TROUBLE for that?
     
  8. TS | Thomas

    TS | Thomas TS Rookie Posts: 1,319

    I dunno about this being anti-competeive, it could go either way really, a lot of people will probably upgrade their windows because its a new windows rather than because it'll have a new browser. Then again, a lot more might just say, well for this system it's not going to get any better, but I *can* get mozilla or opera, which *will* get better & won't require to update anything.
     
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