Microsoft announced its premium version of Outlook email platform a few months ago, but it was described only as a pilot program. We now know more, thanks to a webpage spotted today by Thurrott.com, which details the pricing and features that will come with the subscription version of Outlook.
Outlook Premium – Details and Features
Microsoft is asking select users to pay $3.99 per month for premium email features. For the price, Outlook.com Premium will give users an ad-free inbox, better calendar sharing and the ability to choose up to five custom email address domains. So for all the people who enjoy Outlook, but are bored with the outlook.com or hotmail.com, this is the solution you’ve been waiting for.
Microsoft is working with GoDaddy to provide the personal domain names, allowing users to pick their own replacement for @outlook.com, @live.com or @hotmail.com. Microsoft previously offered custom domains in Outlook.com, but hasn’t accepted new signups for the program since 2014.
How Much Does It Cost?
The first year of the service is absolutely free, and also invite-only. Though, it’s worth noting that any personalized email domains you create will not be automatically be renewed along with your Premium or Office 365 subscription. To maintain those addresses after that trial period, you’ll have to visit GoDaddy.com.
The trial program was initially rolled out as a free add-on for select Office 365 Home users, but Microsoft is expanding the trial so you can access the special program without paying for a $100 per year subscription. The program is also different from the simple ad-free Outlook option, which is widely available for $20 per year.
Outlook Premium walks the user through an interface during sign-up, where they can check for available domain names. They can then set this new personalized email as their default and choose which email they want to send from when composing a new message.
In addition, Outlook Premium will work with those customers who bought Office 365 Home with a personalized email address. Users can invite up to four other individuals to create personalized emails on this account by adding on the Premium service.
Basically, Premium works as both a standalone product and an add-on to Office 365 Home. Meaning, both businesses and families who need multiple email addresses, can use Premium to manage all their addresses from Outlook.com Premium Domain Dashboard.
Outlook Premium To Compete With Google Apps for Work
Google offers a similar service for organizations and companies, with 2 plans for $5 and $10 respectively. Google Apps for Work has matured over the years and offers storage space and other extra features on top of customized email addresses and ad-free inbox. Microsoft has its work cut out. Its Skype integration can however give it an edge against Google Hangouts-powered platform for workplace collaboration via video and chats.
But one thing is for sure. Competition amongst the two tech giants mean that consumers will be the winner. We can expect more features to roll out soon on the two platforms.