Many of us like to use an offline e-mail program, this no matter if you are on Linux or Windows - Thunderbird is a bit of both worlds, as it also can handle the online folders in your e-mail account - that is why I chose it(and it came pre-installed with Peach OSI).
There is a problem importing contacts from Windows Live mail into Thunderbird, there is an article about it here:
I did not follow the whole article, because of the way I have set up my contacts - What I did, were to make a new contacts-new.csv file from within Thunderbirds Adressbook and open it in LibreOffice Calc - then open the one from Windows Live mail in LibreOffice Calc and copy details over to the new one(anything under the first column).
When you do this you have to put the the mouse where you want to start and click 1 time, then use the arrow keys + shift to navigate and mark - it will not work if you use the mouse to mark - then rightclick on the marked area and choose copy. Then do the same in the new .csv file, but this time choose paste(make sure you have the same amount of columns). When finished, save the new .csv file and import it into Thunderbird from within Addressbook - Not from Thunderbird itself!
Importing folders from storage folders, doesn't work either, you have to install this add-on:
Then rightclick the Local folder you want to import you folders to(make a new folder), then click on Import/ExportTools, go down to Import all messages from a directory, then click on: also from its subdirectories
Find the folder you want to import(from your backup or on the windows drive), then click Open and all the messages in that folder will be imported.