If you use Windows Live Mail to manage emails from an outlook.com or hotmail.com account you’ve probably recently received an email from Microsoft announcing forthcoming changes that will prevent the system from working properly and exhorting you to either install a patch (download link included) or upgrade to Windows 10 and use the new Universal Mail app.
The email reads as follows:
In a few weeks, we will be making some changes to our email services that might impact your @outlook.com, @hotmail, @live or @msn email account. These changes will prevent your email from being delivered to the Windows Live Mail 2012 application that you use.
In order to continue using Windows Live Mail 2012 to send and receive email for your account, you need to install the latest update published here.
If you use Windows Live Mail 2012 on Windows 8, Windows 8.1 or Windows 10, we recommend that you switch to the built-in Mail app in Windows to stay connected and get the latest feature updates on Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.
Windows Live Essentials 2009 and 2011 are not supported any more, and you will need to update to Windows 8/8.1 or Windows 10 and use the Mail app, or use www.outlook.com. To learn more about the Mail app, please click here.
We also recommend all Windows Live Mail users on Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 to upgrade to Windows 10 and use the built-in Mail application to stay connected and get the latest feature updates.
We suggest saving this email so you can refer to it later.
Thank you for your understanding and continued use.
The Outlook team
Although it resembles a phishing email, it is in fact genuine. For years, security experts and those of us who advise Windows users have warned to never click a link in an email message that says it will install a windows update. “Microsoft would never send you an email with a link to a patch”, we’d tell them. Apparently, somebody forgot to inform Microsoft of this basic security protocol.
Here’s the nitty gritty; the patch is not meant for and does not work in Windows 10. In fact, installing it in Windows 10 will break Windows Live Mail and possibly also negatively effect the operating system.
Microsoft’s email message is ambiguous in the extreme, take this line for example…”In order to continue using Windows Live Mail 2012 to send and receive email for your account, you need to install the latest update published here”. Nowhere does it mention specific operating systems. However, if you check out the hidden System Requirements on the official download page, you’ll see that the patch is meant specifically for windows 7, 8, and 8.1 only:
Does the installer check to make sure you’re running one of the supported versions of Windows? No. It will happily install on a Windows 10 system, no warning, goodbye WLM.
Apparently, problems following installation of the Windows Live Mail patch are not restricted to Windows 10 either, reports are circulating of the patch crashing different systems in different ways, with the Calendar app most often mentioned in dispatches.
For those of us who’ve been using Windows Live Mail since its inception, this is yet another smack in the eye from Microsoft. Apparently, what Microsoft once touted as the ultimate free email client is no longer in favor and now being used as yet another tool to push Windows 10 upgrades and its mobile apps.