Microsoft may add Outlook.com Premium as an included feature to Office 365 Home and Personal subscriptions soon.
Microsoft's online email service Outlook.com is available as a free ad-supported version, and as a version that is called Outlook.com Premium.
Outlook.com Premium is available for $49.99 per year regularly and currently for the introductory price of $19.95; subscribers get an ad-free inbox, access to custom domain names, an option to share calendars with family, friends or colleagues, and may give the benefit that the upgrade offers to four other Outlook.com users.
The paid upgrade is available in select regions only right now: Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Ireland, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
The introductory offer is good for a year only after which the regular price needs to be paid. Microsoft charges an extra $10 for personalized email.
A promo page on the Outlook website highlights that all benefits of Outlook.com Premium may soon be included in Office 365 Home and Office 365 Personal.
Both list "everything in Outlook.com Premium" under features. While it is not clear right now whether this will only apply to customers who upgrade to Office 365 Home or Personal from the Outlook.com site, it seems more likely that the functionality will be made available to all existing and future subscribers to either Office 365 plan.
It is interesting to note that Microsoft promised back in February 2016 that Outlook.com Premium would be available to all Office 365 customers free of charge. While Microsoft did promise that back then, the company has not done so up until now.
The new option is not active yet on the promo page. It is clear that it applies only to customers who reside in one of the supported countries.
Outlook.com users who consider upgrading to the premium plan may want to wait with the upgrade if possible. This is especially true if customers are subscribed to Office 365 plans already, as they may get Outlook.com Premium free of charge soon (if Microsoft adds the feature to all Office 365 Home and Personal accounts).
Microsoft launched a beta of a new version of Outlook.com recently.
The inclusion of the premium plan will please Office 365 users who use the email service. It may also be the more attractive option for Outlook.com users who want to upgrade to premium, as they pay just a little bit more for Office 365 once the introductory offer ends.
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