As is famous enough, I despise Outlook. It seems that with every release MS looks into my nightmares and extracts new methods of torment for me. In Office 2007 it’s the ribbon. Huge buttons and pretty pictures augment a total reordering of all the usual functionality. I guess the idea is that if you can’t come up with any feature improvements you should at least paint the barn.
Here is how to turn off the ribbon on your composing windows.
First, you’ll have to open a compose window (that is to say a new mail message or a reply/forward).
At the top you’ll see that new Office orb and to its right some small buttons (how trim and dainty they must seem). The buttons are in a sort of oval-shaped segment. To the right of this oval-shaped segment is a stylized drop-down menu. The very last item in that drop-down is Minimize the ribbon. It’s semi-permanent (meaning it won’t come back unless you uncheck that item in the drop-down later).
You may also want to add the From field and the BCC field.
You can do this by clicking on the Options thingy (button? ribbon?). Click both the Show BCC and Show From thingies (buttons?). They will change color to indicate they are active. You will see the fields appear in your message window.