Microsoft Quietly Opens Up Outlook Premium To Everyone (in the US)

Posted on October 18, 2016 by Brad Sams in Outlook.com with 30 Comments

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Earlier this year, it was uncovered that Microsoft was testing a premium version of its Outlook.com service and now this offer is open to everyone. Microsoft is moving Outlook Premium to the preview stage and out of private beta testing.

The service, which offers an ad-free inbox, 5 personalized emails, and advanced calendar sharing options will set you back $19.95 a year. This price is a promotional offer as it will typically cost $49.99, according to the landing page that was spotted by Mary Jo.

Much to the chagrin of many users reading this, the offer is only available to those who live in the US. Microsoft has made a bad habit of only limiting many of its products, at least at launch, to the US market and has been slow to expand beyond its own shores in recent years with new products/devices.

At one point during beta period, it was speculated that Microsoft may offer this program free to everyone with an active Office 365 subscription but digging into the FAQs, there is no mention of a cross-promotion between the two services.

What’s a bit odd is that Outlook.com currently does have a premium service to only remove ads. As of right now, that option costs $19.95 a year which means the Outlook premium, at the discounted rate, is a much better deal.

If you are interested, you can sign up for Outlook Premium, here.

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23 Comments
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  1. 3 | Reply
    wpylant Alpha Member #247 - 1 month ago

    My Hotmail address goes back to somewhere around the mid nineties.  this is what I see when I try to login to the Outlook Premium site:

    "It looks like your account may take up to several weeks to set up with Outlook.com Premium.

    We suggest creating a new Microsoft account."

    Seems "first in, first out" is not in play here, eh Paul?

    1. 1 | Reply
      torsampo Alpha Member #235 - 1 month ago
      In reply to wpylant:

      I see the same thing. I have been waiting for this to go live and now this.

    2. 0 | Reply
      VonBrick Alpha Member #1377 - 1 month ago
      In reply to wpylant:

      Yeah.  [SIGH]  I love how the concept of simply creating a new account is thrown out there like "Ah...just sign up for a new one!  I mean, how much of the Microsoft user experience could you POSSIBLY have tied up in a 20-year-old account anyway?"

      Boo.  Hiss.  ;(

    3. 0 | Reply
      mikeleonard Alpha Member #541 - 1 month ago
      In reply to wpylant:

      I'm seeing the same thing. Like I really want to give up an outlook.com address I've had since they switched the name to that and a hotmail.com address I've had since the beginnig of that service.

       

      Microsoft has sent me two emails in the past 3 weeks telling me, "We’re now ready to roll out this upgrade to you.", but still no upgrade. 

    4. 0 | Reply
      Waethorn Alpha Member #2235 - 1 month ago
      Seems "first in, first out" is not in play here, eh Paul?
      In reply to wpylant:

      It's "Little Paul".

    5. 0 | Reply
      snowbeast Alpha Member #671 - 1 month ago
      In reply to wpylant: I'm also seeing the same thing.

       

    6. 0 | Reply
      Waethorn Alpha Member #2235 - 1 month ago
      In reply to wpylant:

      Outlook.com addresses were moved first.  Older domains have to wait.

    7. 0 | Reply
      gregsedwards Alpha Member #1910 - 1 month ago
      In reply to wpylant:

      Yeppers. Same for me too. It's like I'm being punished for having an original Hotmail account and actually using it fully over the last 20 years. X(

    8. 0 | Reply
      wpylant Alpha Member #247 - 1 month ago
      In reply to wpylant:

      The landing page appears to be broken this morning. 

      Logged on to outlook.com yesterday and lo' and behold ... I got Outlook Mail.  ;-) Nice.

  2. 3 | Reply
    Thayios Alpha Member #1968 - 1 month ago

    Thanks for this article, I changed from O365 to it immediatly.

    I had to delete my user and domain out of 365 and force an empty of the Recycle Bin to get it to allow me past the domain already provisioned error.

    This also explains why my legacy O365 account that I had set as my Windows Live ID stopped working via auto discover two weeks ago (they were preparing for this and switching things around) - I ended up having to delete that alias from WL and use a generic outlook one (which with the new service, we still can't set the alias as the primary, which is dumb imo but you can login with it).

    1. 0 | Reply
      pmbinc - 1 month ago
      Thayios Posted

      This also explains why my legacy O365 account that I had set as my Windows Live ID stopped working via auto discover two weeks ago (they were preparing for this and switching things around)

      Great catch.

    2. 0 | Reply
      torsampo Alpha Member #235 - 1 month ago
      In reply to Thayios:

      Thanks for the memory jog! I found an old, long defunct O365 Business Essentials account that still had my two domains buried in an alias for that account. I had to temporarily renew the Exchange license on that account to remove the alias, but once done I was able to use the domains with Outlook Premium.

  3. 0 | Reply
    Narg Alpha Member #420 - 1 month ago

    I'd pay $19.95 per year for this, but $50 is too much.  For $30 more you get full Office with this premium setup, right?  For the $50, they should offer Outlook Pro along with full Office online, kind of like the cheapest business setup without the URL and support thing.

  4. 0 | Reply
    UbelhorJ Alpha Member #1542 - 1 month ago

    It's not letting me use my own domain. Every time I try, it goes into a loop asking for payment over and over again. It won't let me past it. My ads are gone, but I could have done that with ad-block. I want my $20 back....

  5. 0 | Reply
    dallasnorth40 Alpha Member #437 - 1 month ago

    Funny, I did not think I would be interested in Outlook.com at all. But, I have already switched from the Windows 10 Mail app to using Outlook.com exclusively. I like the way it looks and works better than any email solution I've used before. Good work, Microsoft!

  6. 0 | Reply
    MarkWibaux Alpha Member #847 - 1 month ago

    That's a bummer considering they didn't have the "US only" limitation for registrations in the testing period and I was able to signup then.
    I actually had to wait a few weeks after the initial request for testers was put out there as they didn't originally support bringing your own domain across. You could only get it by registering a new one. When I didn't complete the initial setup after I hit this issue I got a nice email from them about a couple of days later wondering why I hadn't completed the process, after explaining the issue they said that was going to be an option with a couple of weeks (which surprisingly it was).

    Hopefully I don't all of a sudden lose access to my custom email addresses now that I have it rolled out to my family.

  7. 0 | Reply
    bassoprofundo Alpha Member #408 - 1 month ago

    What about those of us grandfathered over from Windows Live Domains?  I still have my family's accounts under a domain name I own and hosted via what was WLD before they sunsetted it.  I haven't been able to make any additions or removals for some time now, but the accounts themselves keep on trucking along.  I'd like to know if there's a migration plan somewhere in the works.

  8. 0 | Reply
    torsampo Alpha Member #235 - 1 month ago

    Just to test I setup a new account (as my current account has not been migrated yet) and see that I can't use a domain I already own.  That makes this useless for me .

    1. 0 | Reply
      bassoprofundo Alpha Member #408 - 1 month ago
      In reply to torsampo:

      When I logged in, it gave me the option to use an existing domain, and when I chose it, it takes me to a screen with the details of the MX record I need to configure on the host's side.   I didn't complete it because I was just testing the waters, but it did give me the option.

    2. 0 | Reply
      torsampo Alpha Member #235 - 1 month ago
      In reply to bassoprofundo:

      I got no such option. Instead I got the message "This domain is already provisioned. Please try a different one!".  I tried with two different domains I own.

    3. 0 | Reply
      Thayios Alpha Member #1968 - 1 month ago
      In reply to torsampo:

      See my response at the top, I faced the same issue. 

  9. 0 | Reply
    mmcpher Alpha Member #245 - 1 month ago

    What fresh madness is this? I'm seeing the same "suggestion" that I open a new account, when my longstanding outlook.com account is not coincidentally tied to my given name.

  10. 0 | Reply
    andrewtechhelp Alpha Member #711 - 1 month ago

    *sigh* to the US only thing...

    I just wish that each time they do this they'd explain why they've chosen to go US only, perhaps with what blockers they have that prevents them from expanding outside the US and a rough timeline to address them (if available)?