Dolly has a question about Microsoft Outlook. She writes: “Hi, I will be retiring soon and hate the thought that I will no longer have Microsoft Outlook for my emails as I love having to store and drag in email to a personal folder. I am very illiterate when it comes to all this technology. my daughter tells me to set up a Gmail but I hate the look as it isn’t as user friendly as the MS Outlook is. Can you explain all the different email providers and the one closest to resemble the MS Outlook for looks and convenience?”

Dolly, there’s no reason you can’t still have Outlook if you want it. The e-mail client is part of the Office 365 subscription and you can get that for a single user for $69.99 per year. That includes Word, Excel and PowerPoint. All programs that you’re probably familiar with if you’ve worked in a Office.

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Outlook can be purchased by itself for a one-time installation for just a little over $100 from Microsoft.

If you’d rather have a free e-mail client program, consider Windows Live Mail. It features many, but not all of the features of Outlook and it is easy to download and install. Click here to learn more.

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With Outlook or Live Mail, or any other e-mail client program, you can use whatever e-mail address you want. Copies of your messages will be downloaded to the e-mail client on your PC.  Windows 8.1 and 10 both have an e-mail app pre-installed, but I don’t think you’ll like them very much if you want something similar to Outlook.

If you don’t want to install an e-mail client program on your PC, then you’ll need to access you mail through a web client like that Gmail interface you didn’t like very much.

If you’re familiar with the more recent versions of Outlook, then Outlook.com may work for you. It’s free to set up an account and additionally, you get free access to Microsoft Office apps online and free cloud storage in One Drive.

If you have a Hotmail, Live, MSN or Outlook.com e-mail address, you already have an account.

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I hope one of these options works for you.

~ Cynthia