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Upgrading XP to Windows 8 should not require you to change your email service or programs, unless you are currently using Outlook Express.

After reading your article on upgrading Windows XP to Windows 8, I feel that even I can do it. Several questions: I'm using Outlook XP as my main email program. Will it work with Windows 8? If not, I assume that I will have to change to a web-based email program like Gmail or the new Outlook.com. Will I be able to move all my folders and contacts to these email programs? Two, is Office 2010 compatible with Windows 8? Three, which version of Windows 8 should I use? Thanks for the answers and all of the good stuff that you do.

In this excerpt from Answercast #72 I look at some confusion around moving an email account when upgrading to Windows 8.

Upgrading XP to Windows 8

Ok. So there's definitely some misconception here. Let me first start by clarifying one thing. You're using "Outlook XP"? Unfortunately, that could mean a couple of different things.

Outlook Express is gone

If you're using "Outlook Express," then, no.

Outlook Express is not available on Windows 8 just like it wasn't available on Windows 7. You will need to use a different email program.

Email program vs. Email service

Hotmail, Gmail and Outlook.com: those are not different email programs. They are different email services.

They give you a different email address.

What you would use instead of Outlook Express, would be an email program: like Thunderbird, or the Outlook that comes with Microsoft Office, or any of a number of email programs that you would download and install on your computer.

Things like Gmail and Outlook.com, those are web mail. They don't run on your computer. Those are just websites that you visit.

Yes, it's possible to have them access your other email accounts; but in reality, they are all tailored to providing you your email service in addition to being a place to read your email.

Gmail is always "@gmail.com"

So, for example, if you use Gmail, you'd use a Gmail.com email address. If you use an email program (like Thunderbird, or Microsoft Office's Outlook) and install that on your PC, you would continue using the same email service, and keep the same email address, that you have today.

So it's a very important distinction between the two.

I actually have an article on that. It's called, "What's the difference between an email program and an email account?" and I think that's something that is very definitely worth revisiting.

Microsoft Outlook on XP

Now, if on the other hand, you mean that you are actually using Microsoft Office's Outlook from Microsoft Office XP (in other words, Microsoft version XP, which I think, is the version immediately prior to Office 2003) then I believe it will work. In other words, I believe it will work just fine.

You can install Microsoft Office XP on to Windows 8 and it should just work. I have not confirmed that so I don't want to say that with any absolute certainty - but my guess is it will probably work just fine.

Microsoft Office 2010

Now, the next question actually is also part of what led to the confusion above - because you're also asking about Office 2010.

Office 2010 should work just fine on Windows 8. It is the current version of Office if I'm not mistaken. If not, it's been supplanted by Office 2013. But in either case, Office 2010? My expectation is that it will work just fine in Windows 8.

Which version of Windows 8?

Now the last question: "Which version of Windows 8 should I use?" Well, I don't know. It really depends on what your expectations of Windows are and how you'll use it.

What I recommend you do is that you take a look at the different versions - Microsoft I think has a comparison table that shows you what is in and out of each of the specific versions (be it Home or Pro or Ultimate or whatever they're calling it this year). That will show you the features that do and don't come with each specific version.

In general, when people don't really have a clue as to what they need (which is not uncommon, and certainly it is confusing enough to be a very common place to be) I end up recommending the Pro version.

Typically the Pro version has a couple of more features that I happen to really like (and I like to have them be available to people) that the Home versions of Windows typically don't have. But that's just a knee-jerk reaction on my part. Getting the Pro version? Really it's up to you, and up to your needs, and up to your budget, as to which version you might actually want to spend the money on - or which version you need that will meet your needs.

Article C6056 - November 21, 2012 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

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6 Comments
Mark J
November 22, 2012 2:29 AM

"Office 2010? My expectation is that it will work just fine in Windows 8."
To confirm, I've been using Office 2010 on Windows 8 for a month now, and it works perfectly.

Al Taylor
November 23, 2012 9:27 AM

I've loaded both MS Office Pro 97 and Offfice Pro 2003 on Windows 8 and have NOT ben able to get Outlook to work on it, dispite many Google searches trying to find a way to do so.

Mark J
November 23, 2012 12:40 PM

@Al
This is a long shot, but it might be that having 2 versions of office is causing a conflict. You can try uninstalling both versions of Office and reinstalling Office 2003 and seeing if that works.

Smoky Lowe
November 23, 2012 1:35 PM

I just instaled windows 8 pro,and use windows live mail from windows 7 and it works great.You can get it from filehippo.com .

Gary Richtmeyer
November 24, 2012 9:04 AM

First, you CAN have multiple versions of MS Office installed on the same PC, so you can run both Word 2003 and 2010 (for example) at the same time. HOWEVER, this is not true for Outlook itself. Whatever version of Outlook was the last to be installed will work. Any previous Outlook will not work correctly (even though it shows as installed).

Secondly, I'm assuming that when the OP says "Outlook XP" he's referring to the Outlook included in MS Office 2002 (also called MS Office XP). In this case, just install the new Outlook (e.g. 2010) on Win 8, copy the PST from the old Outlook to the new Outlook, define the email parameters, and go!

I do this type of work for customers all the time. Works fine.

Lucy
January 25, 2013 12:59 PM

I am perfectly happy with MS Office 97 and see no reason to spend a lot of money upgrading when I use it only occasionally.

I have purchased the Windows 8 upgrade (disc version) and learned that Office 97 is not compatible.

I have not upgraded my computer yet, it still runs on Windows 7.

Can I create one of those partition drive thingies on my hard drive and have Office 97 there, still using Windows 7, or am I out of luck?

Depends entirely on exactly what you mean by "partition drive thingies". You can dual-boot, meaning that you set aside disk space and at boot time you choose whether you will run Windows 8 or Windows 7. Problem: programs installed in one will not be accessible from the other, though data files can be. You could also use a virtual machine to run Windows 7 within Windows 8. That's more complex to set up.
Leo
26-Jan-2013

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