It is going to be a long story with a high number of sequels it seems.

I must confess that I do not have a high esteem for Microsoft products in general but my day work force me to use them or at least support user using it and more often than not I face real stupidity in the product.

Right now my key target is Outlook from Office 2003 edition.

Using Outlook, so remove Outlook Express ?

Well it might seems logical that if you know for sure that you will use Outlook then you won't need Outlook express. If you were ready like me to remove this component with image creation tools like nlite I should not recommend you to do so !

Why ? because if you do so and try to access to a IMAP/POP3 server, it will not work because you'll need registered DLL that comes with Outlook Express and could not be provided by Outlook. Sounds good ! I spend a few hours last week on this and find no way real way to escape ! (copying DLL failed because they need to be registered, copying + trying to register with regsrv32 failed on registration, reinstallation of Outlook failed). Don't get me wrong I didn't say that you can't manage is some situation to manage to register or install outlook (especially if you do not have installed security fixes but you might run into troubles.

There must be a good reason for this, and I can understand that maybe Microsoft guys wanted to mutualise code between two versions, cool good idea, but when you install Office if one or more DLL is missing then setup should install it and do what ever is needed so that thoses DLL will be installed and registered !