Outlook Express under Windows XP was definitely not the best e-mail program. For many people, however, it is part of their “computer career” – the mere mention of it arouses nostalgic feelings in one or the other person. In Windows XP you may have replaced Internet Explorer 6 with Firefox after reinstalling the system and installed Thunderbird (to replace Outlook Express). Outlook Express is now able to withstand Thunderbird better than before: There is an unofficial successor to the Microsoft mail program. In particular and in design matters leans OE Classic strongly reminiscent of the original. In this article you will find some operating instructions for the software and an assessment of what OE Classic is good for.
Download OE Classic (Outlook Express)
The installation of OE Classic is safer and more resource-efficient than installing Windows XP. Because the support will end in 2014, it will no longer receive updates – working here is also no fun due to operating deficiencies. Windows XP could be run in a virtual machine, such as in VirtualBox, but this costs a few hundred megabytes (MB) of RAM. The 32-bit program OE Classic, on the other hand, was satisfied with around 11 MB of RAM on our test computer.
Outlook Express vs. Windows (Live) Mail
The OE Classic user interface is available in German or English. The situation is similar with Windows XP: If the system is in German, it is also Outlook Express. The symbols in the icon bar at the top in OE Classic look modern – at least more modern than the menu bar above, which exudes classic charm. If you start on Windows XP OE, you already have mail: “The Microsoft Outlook Express team” sends you a message with the subject “Welcome”. What a click on it reveals is nostalgic. In addition to further email text below, you can read in a column on the right:
“Tired of sharing your email account with others? Get a Free Hotmail Account! Then you can read your email from anywhere in the world. Click here to register now! “
It looks similar with OE Classic: The application delivers a ready-made email that welcomes you. “Welcome to OE Classic! This program was designed with a purpose to meet all of your e-mail and newsgroup messaging needs (…)”. This text is also the same for the German-language OE Classic user interface. Translated it means something like “Welcome to OE Classic! This program was developed with the aim of fulfilling all of your e-mail and newsgroup messaging needs”.
The manufacturer has a comparison table of the functions in OE Classic, Outlook Express, Windows Mail and Windows Live Mail on its project page
released. There the provider indicates the supported operating systems: Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 (.1) and Windows 10. We tested the communication application under Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.
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The history of the on-board resource e-mail programs
The original Outlook Express can be found in Windows XP. OE no longer exists since Windows Vista: Microsoft has replaced it with Windows Mail. It is placed in a prominent place in the start menu: At the very top is the entry “Internet” (and underneath in weaker font “Internet Explorer”), underneath is an “E-Mail” entry (below it you can read in weaker font ” Windows Mail “). Windows 7 is based on the source code of Vista, although its scope has been reduced: The code diet should make the system faster than its predecessor, which was criticized as sluggish. Windows 7 not only has fewer lines of code and system services than Vista, but also dispenses with Windows Movie Maker and e-mail clients. However, users will find a download link in the start menu: If you enter “mail” there, you will find the entry “Download Windows Live Essentials from the Internet” (the Essentials package includes Windows Live Mail). As Microsoft announced on the “Windows Essentials” page, it no longer offers the package for download. Windows 8 (.1) and Windows 10 bring an email application with them again: an app – which runs in full screen mode in Windows 8 (.1) and in a window (and only optionally fullscreen) in Windows 10.
Windows 10 1709 (+) without Outlook Express Legacy
Incidentally, Outlook Express was apparently not completely off the table under Windows 10: This is how Microsoft tops the list
“Features and functionality removed in Windows 10”.
There you will find the line “Outlook Express”. The provider describes the program as a legacy application (means something like “out of date”) and claims to have removed the client with Windows 10 1709 (Fall Creators Update). Accordingly, there was obviously residual Outlook Express code in some Windows 10 versions (consequently in the 1709 predecessors, i.e. 1507, 1511, 1607 and 1703). OE was and is not able to start under Windows 10. You can find more information in our Windows useless knowledge article and in our article with tips on PC legacy application purposes.
Download OE Classic (Outlook Express)
A conclusion to the OE Classic program
OE Classic is nice fun for Outlook Express lovers, but in terms of functionality and operation it is a rather weak competitor to Microsoft Outlook and Mozilla Thunderbird. The latter program is characterized by many ready-made add-ons; OE Classic cannot keep up here. In terms of handling, it is worthy of criticism that clicking on “New E-Mail” only reports that you have not yet added an account – but does not help you to set up an account. You can do this via “Tools> Accounts> Add> Next”. The IMAP and POP protocols are available. In the test under Windows 10, sending e-mails did not work at first, but then worked with an @ web.de freemailer address. The receipt of emails did not succeed immediately, but later it did. Formatting options for new e-mails are a plus, insertable smileys offer even more for the eye. In terms of visuals, the signature is a disadvantage: For example, OE Classic adds advertising on its own behalf to sent e-mails below (“New Outlook Express and Windows Live Mail replacement – get it here: https://www.oeclassic.com/”) . Users of some Internet freemailer services also struggle with this problem.