Reminder: Act Fast, Save Big on Outlook.com Premium

Posted on March 23, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Outlook.com with 29 Comments

Reminder: Save Big on Outlook.com Premium

I’m not sure why Microsoft won’t promote this, but you can save big on Outlook.com Premium if you act fast. And the service is now available in many more places than was originally the case.

As you may recall, Microsoft quietly took Outlook.com Premium out of Preview in February after a full year of testing. The service provides custom domain support for five users, with information sharing between those accounts and an ad-free inbox on the web.

There are some nuances to know about, however, especially if you’re used to how custom domains used to work in the now-defunct Windows Live Custom Domains or Google G Suite. So be sure to check out my post Hands-On with Outlook.com Premium, which I believe to be the only real explanation of how this service works anywhere. (Short version: Each custom domain email address, like[email protected], is actually tied to a separate Microsoft account, like [email protected].)

Despite the confusion, and despite Microsoft’s refusal to actually promote or explain this service, I feel that Outlook.com Premium is a great service. And it’s especially great if you sign-up before March 31, 2017 (next Friday), as the temporary pricing is only $19.95 per year. After that date, it jumps to $49.95. (As you probably know, you also have to pay for the custom domain, either through Microsoft or another provider. The cost is about $10 per year.)

So there’s your reminder.

But I have other good news, courtesy of MSPowerUser: While Outlook.com Premium was launched originally in the United States only (typical, I know), it is now available in the following locations too:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Hong Kong
  • Ireland
  • Singapore
  • United Kingdom (Great Britain and Northern Ireland)

So if you’ve been waiting and hoping to get the service, especially before the price hike—prices are likewise temporarily lower in each of those places—now is the time to strike.

And, you know, maybe Microsoft could start talking it up at some point as well.

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Comments (29)

29 responses to “Reminder: Act Fast, Save Big on Outlook.com Premium”

  1. Rug

    Ok, maybe I missed it, but if I invite others to 'my domain' as they call it, I assume they retain their own individual mailbox and can just apply a custom alias to it? 

  2. Clintvs

    I'm glad I swiped back to read this, I've got 2 domains on the old live domains that I want to move over but have not been able to due to being in Aus. Thanks Paul

  3. johnbaxter

    Thanks for the reminder, Paul.


    Sometime between week 1 and now, Microsoft let go of the domain that had been associated with the Office 365 business account I expired in the fall. So I didn't have to create another one. (It was never promoted for use...and won't be until I see how this goes.)

  4. Narg

    I've always wondered why Outlook.com Premium (or at least a subset of...) is not part of Office 365 Home and Personal versions.

  5. Philip Stenning

    Just looking through the T&C’c, Microsoft own your domain! If you cancel your subscription you cannot take your domain elsewhere.


    From their signup page:

    If I cancel my Outlook.com Premium subscription, will I lose my personalized email domain?

     If you created a new domain during the registration process, Microsoft registered and purchased that domain on your behalf, but Microsoft retains ownership of that domain.

  6. bassoprofundo

    Really wish I could convert over and lock in the lower rate, but my domain's email is still on the old Windows Live Domains. There is apparently no migration path for those of us in this situation, so I'm basically stuck not being able to modify my existing setup. To compound matters, my family's WLD custom emails are also their Microsoft Accounts, so I'm even more afraid to try something and have them lose access to their content, settings, etc. Ugh..

  7. cdunbar

    Just looked into in for us in Australia, normal price $95AU, currently $38AU plus tax.

    I know there is an exchange rate, but it's not nearly double :-(

  8. rth314

    I know why they don't promote it. Short answer: It is a disaster held together by toothpicks. The product is full of bugs, and their Support is unable to resolve the issues. 

    Long answer:

    I could not sign up for Outlook.com Premium on my main Microsoft account because they had not yet updated my account to the new Outlook.com experience. So I used a secondary account to sign up. Then they finally updated my main account. I canceled Outlook.com Premium on the secondary account so I could sign up on my main account. 

    But now I can't use my own domain with my Outlook.com Premium account because I get an error that "this domain is already provisioned. Please try a different one!" Bug! There is no guidance for the user to know what "already provisioned" means, or how to fix the issue. The domain worked on the previous account, so obviously canceling the Premium service on that account didn't clean things up the way it should have.

    After a week with Support unable to fix the problem (or even understand the problem), they finally told me to go to the secondary account and pretend to re-sign up for Premium. They said that would "clean things up" so my domain could be used again. So I click the "Getting Started" button. Sure enough, it says "Cleaning things up, for a fresh start". Then boom! "We are unable to process you request." Bug! Spelling error and all, as if they slapped this stuff together with no QA.

    Another bug is if you go to premium.outlook.com without being signed in on an account where the service has been canceled. After you signin it will allow you to signup again without going through the "Cleaning things up" step. So whatever that step is supposed to do, it doesn't happen with that workflow. Bug!

    They said they would escalate the issue to engineering. Since then, they stopped responding to me. They refuse to provide updates or give an ETA. It's been two weeks, and they couldn't solve it. So I'm now paying for Outlook.com Premium but can't use it. I'll have to extend my service with my previous email provider while Microsoft slowly gets Outlook.com Premium ready for prime time.

    I'm just one customer who has found multiple bugs. I'm sure there are many more. Microsoft knows this product isn't ready, so they will continue beta testing it with $19.95 sucker customers like me. Once they have it ready they can promote it to people who aren't necessarily Microsoft fans. Then in a few years they will cancel the service so they can replace it with a new email hosting service a few years later. We all know how this works.

    • rth314

      In reply to rth314:

      Update: Microsoft finally fixed my issue.  They had to get their engineers to manually clear the database for my account.  I'm grateful that it is working now, but it shouldn't have taken them over two weeks to resolve the issue.  I feel like I shouldn't touch anything or it will become a real life Jenga puzzle.

    • jbuccola

      In reply to rth314:

      I was having a hard time getting past the "Loading" graphic when logging on to the portal to manage the account.

  9. coldunn

    Thanks for the reminder - I was meaning to look into this. I have a few questions that I hope someone will be able to help with.

    If you can have five email addresses is one nominated to be a catch-all address?

    I have two domains I actively use for email; a family one and a business one. I currently forward my emails to my Microsoft account so I can deal with them all in outlook.com. I can also send via my domains from within outlook.com. If I register my family domain with outlook premium will I still have the ability to send via my work domain?

    Alternatively, am I able to register both domains and have them both linked to my Microsoft account? Doing both before end of March will still be cheaper than doing one in April!


    (Typed for a second time as after editing the comment the whole thing disappeared)

  10. jbuccola

    The management portal is too buggy on this to take it seriously. And you can't "from" addresses toggle addresses for calendar invites. Ideally, there should be a calendar designated for the alias that would allow for this. Alas...

  11. dougkinzinger

    Highly recommend. Have done it for my family domain, my dad's farm domain, and my in-laws with a vanity domain. Solid.

  12. jbuccola

    The management portal is too buggy on this to take it seriously. And you can't "from" addresses toggle addresses for calendar invites. Ideally, there should be a calendar designated for the alias that would allow for this. Alas...

  13. lprell

    Add Brazil to the list of countries where the service is available. The cool thing was that when I signed up to Premium, Its says that premium features was already included within my Ad-Free subscription which is nice considering that Ad-Free itself (no custom domains) costs the same. So basically all I had to do is "upgrade" my Ad-Free subscription to Premium. Maybe Microsoft is going to merge those offers?

  14. shawnwat

    That is a nice price, but what annoys me is I pay a yearly subscription for Office 365 home edition already so why do I have to pay even more to not get adds?

  15. arunphilip

    Hello Paul, Outlook Premium is available in India too. I'd signed up for it some weeks ago based on your coverage of it, thanks for that.

  16. Ron Diaz

    Is Outlook.com up today or is it down again? Lately you can never be sure....

    • Waethorn

      In reply to Ron Diaz:

      I had clients that had issues logging in today. Some people had problems yesterday where their Edge homepage - the "Start" page - would try to log them into their Microsoft Account, but it kept cycling between the login.live.com page and the Start page, and would eventually fail. To them, it seemed like "they couldn't use the Internet".

    • BoItmanLives

      In reply to Ron Diaz:

      Yep. I couldn't get into Outlook for over an hour during their outage the other day. That's simply unacceptable in this day and age. That would never ever happen with Gmail. Fortunately I only use Outlook as a throwaway address - I'd never count on it for anything serious.

  17. dmartin

    I converted my own domain from an external email forwarder to Outlook Premium last weekend. All went well. I had only a couple of gotchas due to previous uses of email addresses in my domain. First, I had used an address in my domain for a different Microsoft account; I had to change that Microsoft account to a different address. Second, I had used a couple of addresses in my domain as backup security emails in 2 factor authentication; I had to change those security emails in the cases where they were going to be used for backup on the premium Microsoft account. In the end all of the email aliases for each of the 5 users are available as "from" addresses for those users.


    Finally, note that if you change your default email alias to one of your new addresses, it changes  your Microsoft account login everywhere. You might just want to change the default "from" address in Outlook.com settings

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