As we said in our discussion of the Internet, it is made up of all of the program elements which allow computers to talk and exchange information with each other. Although there are lots of parts that make up the Internet, the primary ones we are most interested in are the WorldWide Web (www) and E-Mail. We talked about the WorldWide Web, now we need to address the other primary part -E-Mail.

Electronic mail (abbreviated "e-mail" or, often, "email") is a store and forward method of composing, sending, storing, and receiving messages over electronic communication systems. The term "e-mail" applies to the Internet e-mail system based on the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP), a construct of all the rules and procedures for controlling electronic mail.

Messages are exchanged between hosts using the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol with software like Sendmail. Users can download their messages from servers with standard protocols such as the POP (Post Office Protocol, version 3), a set of rules generated to control the delivery of electronic messages.

Messages are accepted or "picked up" by a specific piece of software called the E-mail program. The most popular program available to users today is Outlook Express, which is bundled with and provided free as part of Microsoft Windows XP. This program was changed in Windows Vista to Windows Mail. In Windows 7 there is no e-mail program provided, so you must downlod one from the Internet. In our discussion of E-mail, we will concentrate on Outlook Express, with discussions covering Windows Mail and Incredimail, and its rules and uses.

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How do I set up an e-mail account in Outlook or Outlook Express?