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 Outlook.com Premium.” They don’t. But they should.
You can view this page now on the Outlook.com website. The three product offerings—Outlook.com 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.
Outlook.com 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 Outlook.com 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 Outlook.com 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 Outlook.com Premium” all the harder to explain, given that Outlook.com 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 Outlook.com Premium? Or is it just a mistake?
I don’t know. But it is very obvious to me that Outlook.com 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, Outlook.com users in English-speaking markets who click the “Upgrade to Premium” button in the bottom left corner of their Outlook.com 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.