Windows Live Mail (WLM) is an outstanding product
WLM is an outstanding product. I have been using it for about 6 years now and have installed it on many client computers, including some that were using Outlook. In my opinion, WLM is a better product than Outlook.
WLM is part of a whole package of products called Windows Live Essentials. It was created a number of years ago in one of those Microsoft attempts to out-AOL, AOL. It failed and the huge staff that created it were dispersed, but the mail item (WLM) was such a success, it keeps dragging Microsoft along.
There is a 2012 version of Windows Live Essentials which will probably work OK for you as long as you do not use “groups” in your contacts. They screwed up that part in the 2012 version. If you do use groups, you want the 2011 version. Unfortunately, the 2011 version is no where on the web that I can find. The 2012 version is still available at http://web.archive.org/web/20170112124505/http://wl.dlservice.microsoft.com/download/C/1/B/C1BA42D6-6A50-4A4A-90E5-FA9347E9360C/en/wlsetup-all.exe
When you download this, at one point it will ask you which components of Windows Live Essentials you want to install. Uncheck all but the Mail component. When you start WLM for the first time, it will search for importable contacts, mail accounts and mail and automatically import it all. So have your backed-up message store and contact files on the computer before you start WLM.
WLM is a very problematic product for Microsoft and many others. In fact, Gmail has recently caused a problem by tagging WLM as a less than secure one. You need to lower the security level on your Gmail account to get it to export to WLM.
The reason WLM is not desirable to them is that it takes away the opportunity to profile you and throw ads in your face on the web mail product. A strength to the average user and a weakness to those trying to make money by pushing those ads in your face.
When you have WLM in place and you have it working the way you want it to. I suggest you change the frequency of checking for new mail from 20 minutes to 2.
Also, I recommend moving the message store from the default location, about 7 levels down up to a higher level so you can easily find it to do backups. WLM includes a Move tool to do this.
Once installed in your computer, you may need assistance in setting up the account structure to interface with your email provider(s).