FYI: Outlook 97 vs. Outlook Express

There has been a lot of confusion lately over the name "Outlook Express" so Microsoft's David Goodhand posted the following note to the public newsgroup microsoft.public.outlook97 today. Here is his explanation:

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Rather than post this reply in many different threads, I thought I'd post as a global message. There are several confused threads where people are speculating what Outlook Express is, and few are getting it right.

Simply, Outlook Express is the new name for Microsoft Internet Mail and News. Microsoft has been working on an update for IM&N for some time to ship with Internet Explorer 4.0. The only new news is the name change to Outlook Express. If you have IM&N today, then you have the current version of Outlook Express.

The release of Outlook Express does not mean that regular Outlook 97 magically gets features like newsgroup support from Outlook Express. Nor does the name change imply that Outlook Express suddenly has features like a calendar that are currently found only in regular Outlook.

What is correct is the assumption of many that the similar names imply a strategy. It is our strategy to carry forward both Outlook Express and Outlook 97, with Outlook 97 always as the superset of Outlook Express. We intend to offer similar user interface, terminology, and configuration wherever possible. The two products will be developed as a single family. \[In the present, Outlook is NOT a superset of Outlook Express --David\].

I just want to make sure that people are distinguishing between the features we have shipped or \[publicly\] committed to shipping, and a more general strategy that does not necessarily imply committed features or dates.

David Goodhand
Microsoft Outlook group product planning manager

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One Web site of interest to Outlook users is the Outlook Resource Site.

--Pau

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