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Copy contents of Windows Mail to different email client

In MS infinite wisdom they use a completely different format for the email files in Windows Mail than Outlook Express. When we loaded Vista they provided a tool to move emails from Express to Mail. Neither Express nor Mail exist in Win7, and performance problems in Vista lead me to want to upgrade to Win7. We have upwards of a 1000 emails in various folders and need to copy those to a new email client before installing Win7. It is important not to change email addresses and Hotmail (the Windows Live solution) is reputed to be slow if you don't use @hotmail addresses. Gmail, likewise does not provide instantaneous retrieval for non-gmail addresses. We are on ATT DSL so, technically we are using Yahoo mail with AT&T tweaks. I can't figure out how to get all those emails into Yahoo mail. I've also looked at Thunderbird and Becky but cannot see a way to move all those emails to those clients. I can get the contacts synch'ed but not the emails themselves. Any ideas or solutions?

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