Outlook.com Premium is currently available as a pilot project by Microsoft; means, only invited users get a chance to test the service before it will be rolled out to everyone.
Microsoft revealed little about the service, only that it would reintroduce custom domains on Outlook.com.
Users invited to the test pilot of Outlook.com Premium find information about what the new service offers on this page while everyone else may add their account to a waiting list.
Microsoft has not yet revealed when it will make the service available to the public.
Outlook.com Premium offers the following advantages over a regular (read free) Outlook account:
- Premium users can add up to five personalized email addresses to Outlook that they can use. These custom domain email addresses sync with the Outlook.com mailbox automatically after setup.
- You may share calendars, contacts and documents between all people who have email addresses on your domain.
- An ad-free inbox (no banner ads, no distractions).
One thing that is quite interesting in this regard is that Office 365 subscribers will get Outlook.com Premium free of charge as part of their subscription.
It is unclear right now what Microsoft plans to do with the current Outlook ad-free subscription offer. Available for $19.95 per year, it could be upgraded to Outlook.com Premium instead.
It seems unlikely that the company will keep the ad-free plan up when it introduces the premium plan, but nothing has been confirmed yet.
Outlook.com users who are subscribed to the ad-free plan may consider subscribing to Office 365 directly instead as they'd pay $50 for a one-year subscription if they subtract the price of Outlook ad-free from the subscription plan.
If you consider that you can grab Office 365 subscriptions cheaper at third-party retailers, it was offered previously for as low a price as $29.99 per year, it may be worth the upgrade especially since you gain other advantages such as 1TB of OneDrive storage with the subscription as well. (via Caschy)