Windows Live Email, Vista and Apple Tablets
I have just bought a new computer with Windows 7, and not only can’t I download Outlook Express, I can’t even find it. Is it there? Where?
A: Sadly, Microsoft killed Outlook Express—its free, fast and simple Windows email program—long before Windows 7 came out. In Vista, it was replaced by something called Windows Mail. Now, there’s no email program at all built into Windows 7, unless a PC maker chooses to include one. But Microsoft offers for download a free product called Windows Live Email that is the latest successor to Outlook Express. You can get it, alone or as part of a suite of free “Essentials” programs that used to be routinely part of Windows, at: windowslive.com/desktop.
I was told that Apple is developing its own version of the Kindle e-book reader. I wanted to purchase a Kindle for Christmas, but now I’m not sure whether I should wait for an Apple version.
A: I have never heard any Apple official say or hint that the company is developing a direct competitor for the Kindle, or is planning to make any dedicated e-book reader. What you may be referring to is that some Web sites have been speculating that the much-rumored forthcoming Apple touch-controlled tablet would be mainly intended to be an e-book reader. I haven’t any evidence of this either.
The iPhone and iPod Touch already can run a free Kindle app from Amazon that allows you to read Kindle e-books on those devices without needing to own a Kindle itself. And Barnes & Noble, which has also announced a dedicated e-reader, has a similar iPhone app. So I assume that any general-purpose Apple tablet would likely be able to run such an app as well and function as an e-reader—along with performing other tasks.
But that’s different than producing a dedicated reader with a screen and controls designed primarily for book reading and a companion electronic book store, something Apple currently lacks. It’s entirely possible Apple is going into the e-book business, but I know of zero hard evidence that this is the case.
Do you have any recommendations about switching an existing 64-bit laptop from Vista to Windows 7? I totally dislike Vista but I don’t know if the switch can be done.
A: Yes, it can, in most cases, unless your PC’s manufacturer for some reason isn’t supporting or recommending the upgrade of your particular model. Just make sure you get the comparable version of Windows 7 (say, 64-bit Windows 7 Home Premium if you are currently using 64-bit Vista Home Premium) so you can do a direct, in-place upgrade that will allow your programs and files to remain in place.
You can also do an in-place upgrade if you opt to move up to the costlier Ultimate version. I would also advise backing up your irreplaceable personal files before you begin the process.
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