Yes, Vista comes with Windows Mail, which it clearly states is the updated version of Outlook. Well, even though that is so, *surprise!* it is now completely obsolete, as Microsoft has decided to create something new called Windows Live Mail (I love how they create new programs named almost exactly the same thing). At least it's free.
So here it goes:
- Export your Windows Contacts as a .CSV file (yes, get ready to not use your Windows Contacts anymore... evidently Microsoft really wants you to use the cloud).
- If you don't have a Windows Live account (Microsoft's version of what Google's been doing for a long time), then create one (it's free).
- Import your Windows Contacts .CSV file into your Windows Live account. Don't be confused when they call your Windows Live mail account Hotmail (yes, I thought Hotmail was dead too). Or maybe they won't call it Hotmail. It depends what page you're on. Microsoft seems to be even more confused than we are about this whole mess.
- Download Windows Live Mail (yes, it's actually a program you have to download onto your computer; this replaces Windows Mail... don't ask). As a side note: as soon as the install asked me if I wanted to make Windows Live Mail my default e-mail program I screamed "HELL NO" and made the appropriate selections. However, this is now where I maintain my contact information.
- If it's not already on your Windows Mobile device, install Windows Live on there (it's basically a proprietary Exchange Server that works only with Windows Live).
- Open Windows Live on your mobile device and click "sync."
- Cross your fingers, pray, do whatever it is you do to make the universe treat you right. Your Windows Contacts should now be synced with your mobile device.
- Make sure you use Windows Live Mail to maintain your contact information on your computer from now on.
Now for the rant...
First of all, I want to express my extreme frustration and anger with Microsoft for making it so incredibly difficult to simply sync your Vista contacts with your mobile device. They made Vista right? They made WinMo right? WTF?! I spent nearly a week trying to figure this thing out, coming across countless posts, threads, etc... with people clamoring for a solution to this problem.
Why in the world would Microsoft make this so hard?! Do they not realize how much they are pissing off their client base? It's enough to make somebody switch to Mac.
Other questions that came up while searching for the answers... How many times will Microsoft change the name of a program/system? Outlook Express? Windows Mail? Windows Live Mail? Hotmail? Windows Live? What does it all mean?! Next time, try and make it a little more confusing.
I could go on and on and on, ranting about how I want to gouge out the eyes of whomever is in charge of this new Windows Live mess, but I'm tired, and I'm sick of anything and everything involved with this topic.
Hopefully this workaround helps out anyone looking for a non-Outlook sync solution until Microsoft gets their shit together and actually integrates a simple and easy way to sync your computer contacts and mobile device contacts (is that too much too ask?).