Office 365 Should Be a Superset of Premium (Updated)

Posted on September 5, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in, Office 365 with 25 Comments

Office 365 Should Be a Superset of Premium

UPDATE: Microsoft has explained why this page exists. See below. –Paul

A reader forwarded me a Microsoft web page that claims that Office 365 Personal and Home include “everything in Premium.” They don’t. But they should.

You can view this page now on the website. The three product offerings— Premium, Office 365 Personal, and Office 365 Home are essentially presented as each being supersets of each other. Which, again, they are not.

But it makes sense. Premium provides an ad-free inbox, personalized email addresses for up to five users, and family-based calendar sharing for $50 per year (though there’s an ongoing promotion that delivers the first year for just $20.)

Office 365 Home, the site claims (incorrectly), provides “everything in Premium and adds “the latest, fully-installed versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook 2016,” and 1 TB of OneDrive cloud storage for each user. Like Premium, Office 365 Home supports five users, and it costs $100 per year.

Office 365 Personal, as I’m sure you know, is like Office 365 Home, but for one person only. That makes the claim that it provides “everything in Premium” all the harder to explain, given that Premium supports five users, not one. I guess only one of those users would get access to the Office 365 Personal benefits. Anyway, Office 365 Personal is $70 per year.


Does this page mean that Microsoft is changing Office 365 Personal and Home to include Premium? Or is it just a mistake?

I don’t know. But it is very obvious to me that Premium functionality—the ad-free inbox, at the least—should be included in the price one pays for Office 365. Making these products supersets of each other makes even more sense.

So while I don’t know whether this is real or not, I hope Microsoft makes it happen. This is the right thing to do.

Thanks to Martin G. for the tip.

Update: Microsoft explains

Here’s Microsoft’s explanation for what we’re seeing here.

We continually explore ways to improve our product offerings. As part of this we are running a promotion over the next few weeks designed to help us identify which premium email features to include in Office 365 consumer subscriptions. As part of this promotion, users in English-speaking markets who click the “Upgrade to Premium” button in the bottom left corner of their inboxes are directed to a special version of the web page highlighted in your article. People who purchase Office 365 through that process will indeed get the benefits mentioned. We don’t have anything to announce today, but we are always looking for ways to bring new value to Office 365 Home and Personal subscribers.

So there you go.


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Comments (25)

25 responses to “Office 365 Should Be a Superset of Premium (Updated)”

  1. helix2301

    So with office 365 personal you can get email with your own domain I don't think so

    • Stokkolm

      In reply to helix2301:Well, if this is real then it may mean that you will soon be able to get that with an O365 subscription.

      • Gedisoft

        In reply to Stokkolm:

        It is real ! I know serval people (including me!) who will subscribe to O365 home as soon as you can use your own owned (mail)domain. But it seems, for the moment at least, that using your own domain is reserved for the (small) business O365 subscriptions.

  2. DaddyBrownJr

    I have Office 365 Home, and have had ad-free and the custom domain email address for quite some time. I don't understand what you are saying is incorrect here.

  3. Jim Vernon

    "People who purchase Office 365 through that process will indeed get the benefits mentioned."

    Yeah, not so much. I went ahead and purchased O365 Home through the offer page that I was linked to from a button in my Inbox, and I still have no Outlook Premium features.

  4. SherlockHolmes

    There is a way how to get outside english speaking countries: Simply subscripe to ad free outlook. Then navigate to Outlook notices you have already an adfree subscription. Fron that on simple follow the order through and you are good to go.

  5. jmeiii75

    So, nothing for us long-time Office 365 Home Premium subscribers. That's unfortunate.

  6. Lauren Glenn

    Well, I guess that explains why I get ads in my email account trying to hook me up with Asians or grow a bigger penis. As a straight woman, I'll pass, thank you Microsoft. $20/yr might be worth avoiding those kinds of emails but I kind of wish Outlook sent me more relevant ads. :)

  7. prettyconfusd

    They need to do a lot of work on the custom domains to bring it back to the level of Windows Live Domains from circa 2011 at least, but absolutely these features should be part of Office 365. That they haven't just done this already is silly.

    But at least they're "looking into it"... ;)

  8. Matt Goldman

    I'm a long-time Office 365 Home subscriber, and long-time (standard) user. I've recently registered a new domain and am considering my options for email hosting - hey MS how about you throw me a frickin bone here and give me this particular premium feature seeing as I already have the service you purport it to be included in?

  9. Jerry Murray

    They appear to have changed the page already as that language is removed in what I see when I click on it from my account.

  10. drbohner

    Maybe, like Cable and ISP(s) - they are just doing the 'this is only for new customers' thing....  OH, and I hat that!


  11. mattbg

    It'd be great if they did make this happen. I have Office 365 Home but also a single Exchange account for personal domain-based e-mail via Exchange Online (which is part of the Office 365 business line... and seems similar in price to Premium, except that you only get one mailbox and not the four suggested by this ad)

    I have to manage each of these separately because it doesn't seem like you can manage Home and Business products together from one UI from a consumer-oriented Microsoft ID like

    I also have ad-free Hotmail... which is an older product and a bit redundant but these three things would merge nicely together if they all became a subset of Office 365 Home.

  12. Simard57

    I missed where I get custom domain name for email in Office Home!

  13. gregsedwards Premium frankly also needs to give users more control over the custom domain they procured as part of the process. I found out AFTER I used Microsoft to get my preferred domain that there's basically nothing I can do with it except use it as an email alias. Technically, Microsoft owns the domain. If I'd brought my own, then I could've pointed it at my personal site, etc. That would've been nice to know up front. I'm also a little unclear about how to transition to owning the domain myself next I need to let my Premium subscription lapse and then wait some amount of time for Microsoft to give up the domain so I can buy it myself and try again? Do I go ahead and buy another domain, and then switch it out when I renew my subscription? Do I just keep going with it and hope they add more ownership features down the road?

    Microsoft, please don't make it hard for your customers to give you their money.

  14. Curtmcgirt

    Did I miss the part of the article that explains which part(s) of premium are not included in office 365 home?

    • Paul Thurrott

      In reply to Curtmcgirt:

      Currently, none of it is included. Unless something changed.

      • Orin

        In reply to paul-thurrott:

        My wife and I use our Office 365 Home accounts for calendar sharing. They claim that calendar sharing is part of Premium, but I'm able to use this feature. I think I was able to use it with our basic accounts even before subscribing to Home. So I'm not sure why they highlight calendar sharing as a Premium feature.

        • SvenJ

          In reply to Orin: You have always been able to share calendars. Premium creates a unique shared calendar based on your 'vanity' domain, such as theSmiths calendar if you use You can put family share things on that without sharing your entire personal calendar.
          There is also a shared OneDrive folder for thesmiths, but it doesn't work as I would expect. It is a folder in the primary account OneDrive, and shared to everyone else in the family. That does not allow it to be seen in File Explorer which would make it easy for everyone to drop files into. MS needs to figure out how to have that folder appear in every OneDrive.
          I agree though, that Office365 should include Outlook Premium. It might even increase the retention to keep the ad free and vanity domain aspect.

    • Simard57

      In reply to Curtmcgirt:

      he mentioned ad-free outlook as one "But it is very obvious to me that Premium functionality—the ad-free inbox, at the least—should be included in the price one pays for Office 365. "

      we can also add that Office 365 does not provide personalized email addresses

    • CaedenV

      In reply to Curtmcgirt:

      I have o365 and when I log into I get the thing saying that I need to sign up for Outlook Premium to make the advert side-bar to go away. Also, no way that I am aware of to add a custom address (though that would be pretty awesome!). So I am assuming those are the missing features... which is pretty much all of premium.

  15. Waethorn

    Sue for false advertising.

  16. Orin

    I thought about this last week while using the web app. I'm an Office 365 Home subscriber. I'm not about to pay $20 a year to not see ads in But since I already pay $100 a year, I would expect the ad-free aspect of Office Premium to be included. Apparently Microsoft's own marketing materials think the same way I do :-)

    • SvenJ

      In reply to Orin: There is more to it than just the ad free aspect. That is essentially for 5 people incidentally. If you elect you and 4 others can use that domain, and everyone gets the ad free web experience. May not matter to you, but it is a feature.

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    Call on &&**866).(877).(9859)__++

    #Outlook Support Number

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