I use Outlook 2010 on Windows 7 and the default setting is to show names as Lastname, Firstname. I want to make it show Firstname, Lastname (recently when someone emailed me, I read the subject of the email in reverse, just like I read the names!). I set the option in Contacts tab, "Default FileAs order" to be First, Last but Outlook still shows names in reverse order. Anything to make outlook show names in First, Last order for all existing and new emails/contacts would be very helpful.
It's not possible to do this with Outlook emails. This is because the "from" name is taken from the header of the email and, therefore, set by the sender. So if I send you an email which says it's from "Smith, Bob" then you'll always see it as "Smith, Bob" whether you like it or not.
(Microsoft could implement functionality that looks to see if the email address is also a contact in your address book and then change that "from" to the layout displayed in the address book - but they don't)
Regarding contacts, use the instructions here to get at the preference setting for determining the format of the name. The instructions are for setting it the other way around, but it should be clear how to change it to the way you want.
Bear in mind that you need to be viewing the "File As" field within your Outlook contacts list which will reflect this layout preference.
On Home Tab Click on Contact
Select the contact you want to change the appearance from left panel
Click on View from Main Top Menu - HOME / SEND Receive / Folder / View)
Under that, you can see View Settings, Click on that
Click on Column (If column is disabled, click on Change view, and change the view to Card)
New window appears(Show Column) On the right hand side box, (Show these columns in this order, select the order you would like to see the contacts by using move up and move down button)
See if this article helps : Display the Contacts list in last name, first name format (by doing the opposite of what it says).
In a nutshell : Tools menu / Account Settings / Address Books tab / Name list / Outlook Address Book / Change / Contacts. Then under "Show names by", click "