Windows Mail

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This article is about the Outlook Express replacement. For the newer Microsoft mail client, see Windows Live Mail. For the pre-Exchange Microsoft email product, see Windows for Workgroups Mail.
Windows Mail
A component of Microsoft Windows
Windows Mail logo.png
Windows Mail Vista.png
Type Email client
Included with Windows Vista
Replaces Outlook Express
Replaced by Windows Live Mail

Windows Mail is an email and newsgroup client included in Windows Vista. It succeeded Outlook Express, and was in turn superseded by Windows Live Mail.[1][2] Microsoft previewed Windows Mail on Channel 9 on October 10, 2005.[3]

Windows Mail is not a component of Internet Explorer, unlike Outlook Express, which was bundled with Internet Explorer versions 4 to 6. As such, Windows Mail is not available for Windows operating systems prior to Vista, while Windows Internet Explorer 7 was made available for Windows XP. Windows Mail has been succeeded by Windows Live Mail, which was built by the same development team as Windows Mail and also serves as the replacement for Outlook Express for Windows XP. Windows Mail replaced Outlook Express, which came with previous Windows versions.

Differences from Outlook Express[edit]

New features[edit]

Although the Windows Mail interface has only minor differences from Outlook Express such as the toolbar icons being replaced to reflect Windows Vista's interface and some interface features incorporated from Outlook 2003 including the right-hand "reading pane", larger changes have been made hidden from the user.

Microsoft bundled Outlook Express with all versions of Internet Explorer up to Internet Explorer 6, but Outlook Express was not bundled with Internet Explorer 7 and later versions. Windows Mail was not bundled with Internet Explorer.

  • Windows Mail uses IPv6 if the domain name for the servers resolves to IPv6.[4]
  • Mail messages are now stored in individual files instead of in a single database file. A transactional index database based on the Extensible Storage Engine enables real-time searching and improves the stability and the reliability of the stored data.[citation needed] In case of corruption, the indices can be rebuilt from the mail files.
  • Account setup information is no longer stored in the registry. It is instead stored alongside the mail itself, making it possible to copy an entire Windows Mail configuration and mail store to another machine in a single step.
  • Features like Bayesian junk-mail filtering and top-level domain and encoding blocking have been added.
  • A phishing filter has been incorporated as well, protecting users from web sites that have been identified as being malicious.
  • Additionally, Microsoft Help Groups has been added, which is a preconfigured link to Microsoft's newsgroups. Some additional functionality has been layered on top of the standard newsgroup functionality to have individual threads be marked as a "question" or an "answered question". Postings may be rated as well.
  • With the release of Windows Vista, Windows Mail has a documented COM-based API.[5] Previously, the Outlook Express object model was undocumented, except for Simple MAPI messaging functionality.[6]

Removed features[edit]

Unlike its predecessor Outlook Express, Windows Mail does not have WebDAV, making it incapable of accessing web-based email services through WebDAV. Although Outlook Express integrates with Windows Messenger, Windows Mail has no such integration as Windows Messenger is no longer included. A more full-featured free downloadable application, Windows Live Mail integrates with Windows Live Contacts.

Unlike Outlook Express, Windows Mail does not allow users to switch Identities or manage multiple identities within one running instance of the program. Instead, identities are now tied to the Windows user account and to create additional users or identities, a new Windows user account has to be created.[7]

Also, HTTP clients are no longer supported in Windows Mail.

The ability to use the spellchecking dictionaries of MS Office (when installed) has been removed. Windows Mail only supports the following languages:

  • English (US only)
  • French
  • German
  • Spanish (International Sort)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Gregg Keizer (2007-06-01). "Microsoft gives Vista's Windows Mail the heave-ho". Computerworld. Retrieved 2013-07-29. 
  2. ^ Gralla, Preston (2010-11-04). "Windows Live Mail". PCWorld. Retrieved 2013-07-29. 
  3. ^ By: scobleizer (2005-09-16). "The new Outlook Express: Windows Mail demoed". Retrieved 2013-07-29. 
  4. ^ "UNINETT: IPv6hostswindows". 
  5. ^ "Windows Mail Programmability". 2011-06-30. Retrieved 2013-07-29. 
  6. ^ "Developer Support Limitations with Outlook Express". 2005-06-25. Retrieved 2013-07-29. 
  7. ^ "E-mail identities in Windows Mail". Retrieved 2013-07-29.