A lot depends on which email accounts you use Windows Live Mail to access. The problem is that Microsoft has been upgrading the old Outlook.com email service to a new one that is built on Office 365 infrastructure. The company says that the new service is better than the old one.
Windows Live Mail does not support the new Outlook.com service and so when your account is switched to the new service, as it inevitably will, the PC software will be unable to access your account.
The switchover has already begun and some people are using the new service right now. If you use Windows Live Mail to access your Outlook.com email and it is still working, be prepared for when it stops because sooner or later you will lose access.
If you use Windows Live Mail to access email accounts at other email services then presumably they will be unaffected. Do nothing if you don’t use Outlook.com email and you will probably be unaffected.
What are the alternatives if you do use Outlook.com email?
Access using a web browser at the Outlook.com website is unchanged, so you can fire up Internet Explorer, Chrome, Edge or whatever is you favourite and read your email. Switching from an email client program on the PC to browser based email takes some getting used to, but it doesn’t take long and it really isn’t that bad.
Accessing Outlook.com enables features that aren’t in Windows Live Mail, such as creating email aliases. These are extra email addresses that can be used for a variety of purposes, such as work and personal, signing up for various services on the web where you don’t want to give your primary email address and so on. Emails to an alias can automatically be placed in a folder as it arrives, so it keeps your main email inbox clear.
Windows Live Mail was easier to use with multiple accounts because they were all there in the program, but with webmail you tend to access one at a time because each is on a different website. Opening multiple tabs isn’t quite the same.
The main problem with browser-based email is that there is no offline access. People are increasingly always connected and have fast internet connections too, so accessing email isn’t a problem for the majority, but there are still parts of the country that have poor or dial-up access and the ability to view your email and compose messages offline is useful to some.
Microsoft recommends using the Mail app in Windows 10, which isn’t surprising. The company has been pushing the new operating system really hard for the past year. So hard it has been annoying some people who are not yet ready to upgrade.
The Windows 10 Mail app is fairly basic and has simple features, but it works OK. It is designed for mouse or touch screens and if you do have a touch screen, you can configure what action to take when you swipe across emails, such as to archive or delete them.
It is a shame that Windows Live Mail will soon stop working. One thing I used it for was for email backup. It downloaded email messages and stored them on the PC, so this because my Outlook.com backup. If I lost access to my account for some reason, I would still have all my messages. Now what? I don’t think there is an answer to that.