E-mail in Windows 8

A reader recently wrote to ask about using e-mail in Windows 8 with a POP3 account. It’s a topic I didn’t cover due to the limits in the size of my book. Windows 8 for Dummies Quick Reference is meant more as an overview—the kind of book you grab when you have a quick question about a native Windows 8 feature. There are some issues I wish I had covered, but then the question arises of what I would remove to provide that coverage. It’s a constant battle for an author.

The native e-mail option for Windows 8 is to use your Microsoft account. It’s the account you use to access the Windows Store and other Windows 8 features. Of course, you probably have an existing e-mail account and will want to use that instead of Microsoft’s offering. Unfortunately, anyone moving from Windows XP directly to Windows 8 will be shocked to learn that there is no Outlook Express to use. In fact, Outlook Express has been dead since Vista. There really wasn’t space in the book to discuss any other options, but I know that readers still have questions about what to do with the Post Office Protocol version 3 (POP3) account.

Fortunately, there is a quick fix for the problem, even though Microsoft doesn’t make it readily apparent. The article, “How to Read POP Mail in Windows 8” tells you everything you need to know about installing support for your POP3 account. However, the Mail app in Windows 8 is extremely limited and another reader complained about it’s limitations to me after installing the POP3 support.

There are a number of options that you can pursue. For example, you could install Mozilla’s Thunderbird. Unfortunately, Thunderbird isn’t an app, so you can’t access it easily through the Modern User Interface (UI) (also known as Metro). The alternative is to use Windows Live Mail. It does offer a full range of functionality. The article entitled, “How to Install Windows Live Mail in Windows 8” tells you how to perform this task. The article entitled, “Windows Live Mail POP3” completes the task by telling you how to configure Windows Live Mail to use a POP3 account.

Given that Windows 8 is new and has a completely new interface, it will take a while for it to become a target platform for most e-mail vendors. In the meantime, you now have a few options for that POP3 account you’ve been wanting to use with your Windows 8 installation. I’d love to hear about any alternatives you might have or news about new e-mail applications for the Modern UI at John@JohnMuellerBooks.com.