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Hello. There should be a gear-looking icon in the top right corner, next to your name. If you click that, there should be an option to switch back to Hotmail.
If your account was upgraded automatically, you may not have the option to switch back, per their help article:http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/outlook/auto-upgrade-outlook-FAQ
Nope. In Google, I type in "Hotmail sign in", and I'm immediately sent to "Outlook" at the top, with the messages below in black, the subject in blue text. All "normal" hotmail looking formatting is gone and there is nothing at the upper right, no name, no gear.
There was a preview period while Microsoft began upgrading their Hotmail users to the new Outlook "experience". If you don't have a "Switch back to Hotmail" item under the Options menu (gear shaped icon), you may not be able to go back, or the preview period may have ended.
so does that mean I've lost all my contacts, flagged items, folders, etc.?
No. I see that they're still there, just looking stupid and text only. What a drag. I can't believe that Outlook would look so ugly!
They're still there. Microsoft has phased out the Hotmail look for most (all?) users now. The best I can suggest is for you to send them feedback on the new design. I know a number of people who are unhappy about the new look.
There are a number of guides/reviews about the new look, that may help with getting used to the new look/features.. https://www.pcworld.com/article/260192/microsoft_outlook_com_a_getting_started_guide.html
The articles that I find invariably seem to be about PCs not Macs. Maybe it is really dumb for me to use a Microsoft product on my Mac. Should I just give up? The article you've shown above is from pcworld.com for example.
That was just the first link I copied. True, this is a Microsoft product, but it's all web based, so it's not really platform specific. Apple has a service called iCloud, which is largely what Outlook is based on. Web based email, contacts, calendars, etc. iCloud is free if you're running Mac OS X 10.7 or later.
You can configure Apple Mail to get your hotmail or outlook messages. It's just a matter of putting in your login and server information. Your contacts wouldn't automatically come over, though.
If you're not sure what to enter, as far as servers, that information is here:http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windowslive/forum/hotmail-sync/outlookcom-on-os-x-1068-with-mail-or-outlook/30c141c8-06ac-4cd9-91b5-e2119689f13d?msgId=afb7ac4e-eb7f-46b2-a8f1-0f07a60b838b
can i access your replies tomorrow if I rate you today?
I believe so. Rating may close the thread, meaning it may prevent additional replies, but I think it will allow to you view the chat. If you're worried about accessing the URLs, you could bookmark them just in case.
I'm not entirely sure how it may looks to an end user, but I'm able to view previous (closed, rated..) chats from my end.
Was there anything else I could assist you with?
Sorry, Brian, I suddenly saw the time and had to go to a medical appointment. Thanks a lot for being there and answering my questions. I seem to have your answers on my iPad too so I can refer to them and read about things at my leisure. I'm on Mac OSx, version 10.4.11 which is pretty old as computer stuff goes.
I'll give you an "excellent" rating! All the best...