Windows Mail, Vista, and Blind Carbon Copy (BCC)

Here’s another one of those posts that are simply search engine fodder: I’m using Windows Mail, the replacement for Outlook Express, on my small laptop for my personal email. I find it easier to fire up one program, configured just with my personal email, than to start up Outlook and have hundreds of messages flood in from my seven (!!!) different email accounts. What surprised me tonight though was how hard it was to find something seemingly very simple: I was sending an email from Windows Mail, and I wanted to include a BCC (blind carbon copy) recipient. I started looking in the menus for the email I was working on – I looked under View, expecting to see BCC there. It wasn’t. I searched through every menu in the message itself, and even in the Windows Mail options. There wasn’t a single mention of BCC. From my email, I selected Help > View Help and typed in the term “BCC”. Not a single result. What?? I then tried “blind carbon copy”, a term that most people will not understand (average users know it only as BCC) and found 30 results. The first five included help topics on eliminating duplicate files, copy and paste from a remote computer, rip music FAQ, copy a file or folder, and copy information between files. Absolutely nothing on BCC.

I then tried Google and after a bit of searching, found the solution: with an email message open, click on View then All Headers and the BCC field will magically appear. All Headers? That’s completely, totally, and utterly non-intuitive. Who the hell knows that headers relates to BCC other than SMTP geeks more hardcore than I? Not cool at all – Vista, you lose a point in my books for this. The Windows Mail team needs to give their head a shake and change that to “View BCC”.