Outlook, part of Microsoft's Office software suite, is an email and information management system. Computer manufacturers don't install Office on their Windows 8.1 or 7 systems -- it is software you can choose to add to your computer. When you buy a customized computer, you may be able to order Office products at that time. Otherwise, you can add Outlook later or use alternative email management solutions.
Buying Outlook With MS Office
Microsoft sells several Office 2013 suites that are compatible with Windows 8.1 and 7 -- but not all versions of Office include Outlook. You can buy Office as a one-time purchase or on subscription basis. If you need only one Outlook license, buy an Office Home and Business or Professional version. All Office 365 subscriptions include Outlook. If Outlook is the only Office program you want to use, you can buy it as a stand-alone application.
Alternatives to Outlook
Microsoft offers free email management options if you don't want to buy Office or Outlook. On Windows 8.1, you can download a Microsoft mail app from the Windows Store. If you're running Windows 7, you can download Windows Live Mail, part of the Windows Essentials program. Microsoft's Web mail service, Outlook.com, works on both operating systems.
Alternatively, look at third-party email clients that allow you to manage your email from a program on your computer, such as Thunderbird, eM Client and Inky. If you're happy managing your email through a browser, you can also use Web mail services such as Yahoo Mail, Gmail or AOL Mail.
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