Annoyingly, Outlook doesn't have a built-in backup tool for the PST file which stores all your data. Equally annoyingly, the free backup tool Microsoft supplies doesn't work with Outlook 2010. Fortunately, you can work around that.
Outlook's 2010's Favorites pane looks unmovable -- you can hide the whole left-hand navigation pane with a single click, but not Favorites itself. If you'd rather keep that space purely for a standard list of folders, Tech Recipes reminds us how to get rid of it for good.
When the next version of Outlook appears next year, it will include at least one feature that appears to build on Gmail's threaded conversations idea: combining related (but separate) email conversations into a single item.