Don Asks About A Problem With Windows
One thing that's important to note is that it's not the general Windows updates that are causing the problem with Outlook being set as the default email program with each update, it's the "Office Updates" which are often included with Windows updates that are the culprit. Until Microsoft concedes to the demands of Outlook Express users and leaves us Outlook Express users to ourselves so we can piddle around with what Microsoft must think is an inferior email client, we recommend that you adjust your Automatic Updates as follows:
1. Open Control Panel (Start --->Control
At least with you in control of which updates get downloaded and installed, you'll be on the lookout for the mysterious change in default email programs should any Office updates be included in the update package. If you continue to leave your updates on "Automatic" there will be mornings you'll wake up and realize that your default email program has been switched to Outlook and you'll have to stop what you're doing and correct it.
Speaking of correcting - the easiest way to return your default email program to Outlook Express is to open, ironically, Internet Explorer, click on "Tools" then "Internet Options". Then click the "Programs" tab at the top. Next to "E-mail" you'll see it's be reset to "Microsoft Outlook". Use the drop-down arrow to select Outlook Express, click "Apply" then "OK".
Another annoyance is that when Microsoft Office Updates are installed and Outlook Express is banished from its default email program status, the icon for Outlook Express - on your desktop or Quick Launch tool bar, is mysteriously replaced with an Outlook icon. This really irks me, and if you have Quick Launch shortcut icon to Outlook Express (or one on your desktop) it probably irks you too. I keep an extra Outlook Express icon handy in a folder on my desktop. Apparently Windows Updates doesn't know this one is there and leaves it alone. That way when the Outlook Express icon is replaced by the Outlook icon in the Microsoft Updates coup, I can simply delete the Outlook icon and drag my Outlook Express icon into the Quick Launch toolbar and choose "Copy Here" from the context menu.
So, by now you're thinking (and you're right) we've utterly failed to answer your questions which were: "Why does Microsoft do this?" "How do you stop Updates from changing your email program?" and "How can you keep this from happening in the future?" Ummm to be honest with you, we don't know. It's been going on for a long time and lately it's gotten worse. We've given some ways to make sure at least you're aware that it will happen without waking up to it, and perhaps when you're aware of it you can choose a better time to reset your email program. In our case, when we wake up to hundreds of emails and want to answer as many as possible before we really get started on the day, it's just very inconvenient at that time to have to reset our email program to the email program we prefer. We don't need Microsoft to keep reminding us that they think MS Outlook is what we should use. We don't agree. We use Outlook Express, we like it, and we don't want to change.
Although we couldn't answer your "whys" we felt your question needed to be published to allow us to ramble on about this naughty feature of Windows updates. Not really. But your question does point out a flaw in the Windows updates that needs to be addressed by Microsoft. There's no way in the world they should be changing someone's default email program without their informed consent and agreement. If they want to push Outlook down everyone's throat, at least they should have the courtesy to "ASK" before the change is made. Maybe a little dialog box like this:
"Outlook is much better than your dumb Outlook Express email program (even though we make both of them). You need to get on the stick and use Outlook!! Are you a nutcase or what boy? Would you like us to make our superior, wonderful, bloated, email program Outlook your default? Hmm, or do you want to continue to be a doofus and use Outlook Express? It's your choice, Bozo. What will it be? Click Yes to make the wonderful, fantastic, magnificent Outlook your default email client right now (and make us happy and we'll leave you alone forever) or click "No" to continue to use your stupid, old Outlook Express so you will appear to be a complete dunce to the rest of the computer savvy world (and we'll keep bugging you every week until you come to your senses.)".
You're right. Microsoft does not make good fudge.
We hope since this didn't answer your questions, at least you found it "illuminating".
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