Outlook.com Premium Comes Out of Preview

Outlook.com Premium Comes Out of Preview

There’s no announcement from Microsoft, but Outlook.com Premium has shed its Preview tag, meaning it is now generally available. The bad news? It’s still offered only to users in the United States.

We’ve been writing about Outlook.com Premium for almost exactly a year: In February 2016, Brad reported that Microsoft was testing a premium version of Outlook.com that could support custom domains. That testing was eventually expanded into a trial version that cost just $4 per month, and was later quietly opened up to everyone in the US.

As I noted recently in Outlook.com Tip: Understand Your Paid Options, Outlook.com Premium provides a number of useful features:

Custom domain support for five users. You can pick a personalized email address (like thurrott.com) and assign email addresses (like [email protected]) for up to five users.

Information sharing. Outlook Premium helps you easily share calendars, contacts, and documents (via OneDrive) between those five users. As Microsoft notes, sharing relationships are set up automatically between the people who have email addresses on your domain. So this is an ideal solution for families.

Ad-free inbox. Like Ad-Free Outlook.com, Outlook Premium offers no “banner ads” (which I assume is the same as “graphical ads”) for a “distraction-free view of your email, photos, and documents.” In other words, this works across Outlook.com and OneDrive.com. (Though I’m not aware of ads on OneDrive.com.)

During the preview, Microsoft priced Outlook.com Premium at just $20 per year, but noted that pricing would increase to $50 per year after that. (By the way, that is still a great deal.) Looking at the site now, I see that the $20 offer is still available, so if you’re looking to save some money, you might want to move quickly: This offer expires March 31, 2017.

Note that you still need to pay for your custom domain. You can do that via an outside registrar or through Microsoft; if you choose the latter, that will cost $10 per year. Which is also reasonable.

Thanks to Dan D., who tipped me off via email.


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Conversation 32 comments

  • 422

    14 February, 2017 - 9:56 am

    <p>Sounds great! Now lets get this worldwide! :)</p>

  • 1129

    14 February, 2017 - 9:56 am

    <p>Ugh, sometimes Canada is the US. Sometimes not. There is no way of knowing until you are in too deep. I tried the preview and it messed up my access to email for over a week. Would like to try again, but am hesitant. MS has no mechanism for clarification.&nbsp;</p>

  • 6993

    Premium Member
    14 February, 2017 - 9:56 am

    <p>"It&rsquo;s still offered only to users in the United States."</p>
    <p>Oh, I’m sure there’s perfectly reasonable and logical&nbsp;reason for that.</p>

    • 5234

      14 February, 2017 - 11:24 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#42347">In reply to </a><a href="../../../../users/crfonseca">crfonseca</a><a href="#42347">:</a></em></blockquote>
      <p>It’s Microsoft.</p>

      • 6993

        Premium Member
        16 February, 2017 - 11:10 am

        <blockquote><em><a href="#42357">In reply to </a><a href="../../../../users/Waethorn">Waethorn</a><a href="#42357">:</a></em></blockquote>
        <p>True, but I was hoping they would have figured out by now&nbsp;what the first W in WWW means.</p>
        <p>Maybe we can get Bill&nbsp;Gates to write another&nbsp;memo about the Internet?</p>

    • 1792

      14 February, 2017 - 12:08 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#42347">In reply to </a><a href="../../../../users/crfonseca">crfonseca</a><a href="#42347">:</a></em></blockquote>
      <p>I am in the UK so I assume no new Microsoft service or product is available. After all there is a huge language barrier to those of us who dont speak American.</p>

  • 1561

    Premium Member
    14 February, 2017 - 10:07 am

    <p>Keep in mind if you register your custom domain with Microsoft, then they technically own it. You won’t be able to do anything else with it. This was confirmed by Microsoft support.</p>

    • 131

      Premium Member
      14 February, 2017 - 11:03 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#42348">In reply to </a><a href="../../../../users/gregsedwards">gregsedwards</a><a href="#42348">:</a></em></blockquote>
      <p>Well that’s a giant red flag right there.</p>

  • 790

    14 February, 2017 - 10:14 am

    <p>I signed up for after reading one of your articles last fall.&nbsp; Last week&nbsp;my Outlook Premium was cancelled by MS, although they seem to indicate that I cancelled it.&nbsp; I figured this out when I opened Outlook and noticed an Adblock warning.&nbsp; Why was I getting adds suddenly?&nbsp; After some frantic attempts to contact MS, with no response, I gave up and started trying to undo the mess MS left for me.</p>
    <p>Here’s what I think happened:</p>
    <p style="padding-left: 30px;">- I had Ad-Free which was about to auto-renew last fall.<br />- I signed up for Premium.<br />- Ad-Free didn’t auto-renew.<br />- I seem to have never been charged for Premium.<br />- Last week, instead of contacting me to straighten it out, MS just cancelled my Premium.<br />- When I tried to start it up again, I couldn’t get my domain back because it was already in use.<br />- It took days to undo the mess of the "non-existent account".</p>
    <p>I’ve never heard back from MS on this.&nbsp; I&rsquo;ve got no Premium, no domain, and no help from MS.</p>

  • 412

    Premium Member
    14 February, 2017 - 11:23 am

    <p>I may look into this. I wish Microsoft would allow a one time change of our "Microsoft Account"…would love to change it from my @live to my @outlook address.&nbsp;</p>

    • 1561

      Premium Member
      14 February, 2017 - 1:15 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#42355">In reply to </a><a href="../../../../users/wolters">wolters</a><a href="#42355">:</a></em></blockquote>
      <p>This is definitely "hackaround" territory, but there is a way to do it. You have to be willing to close your @outlook account, and then you have to be patient. After a period of inactivity (60-90 days), you can add the @outlook back to your @live account as an alias. Once that’s done, you can make your @outlook address the primary alias for your MSA. Tada.</p>

  • 6319

    14 February, 2017 - 11:54 am

    <p>I’d consider this maybe once they fix everything broken about the new Outlook.com.</p>
    <p>1. Tons of junk mail makes it into not only my inbox, but my Focused inbox. Wtf!</p>
    <p>2. My contacts are all jacked up since the migration with zero sign of it being fixed. My groups where all lost in the migration, and I have phone numbers instead on names on half of my contacts when I look at them on outlook.com, but they look fine on my iPhone.</p>
    <p>3. I can no longer create business contacts on my outlook.com account from my iPhone. I create them in the Contacts app on my iPhone, and then moments later the new contact disappears. My outlook.com account is my default contacts account. It all worked until I was migrated.</p>
    <p>The sad thing is that I am already a paying customer of outlook.com, since back when it was just hotmail so I can have a larger mailbox and no ads.</p>

  • 1143

    14 February, 2017 - 12:07 pm

    <p>I have my on domain. I do not want to move it at this time. Can I get Outlook.com Premium now and move my domain later? If I subscribe now will I pay $20 for the life of my subscription?</p>

    • 5456

      Premium Member
      14 February, 2017 - 1:18 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#42380">In reply to </a><a href="../../../../users/slbailey1">slbailey1</a><a href="#42380">:</a></em></blockquote>
      <p>You can host your domain on a different hoster and modify the DNS setting or let your hoster do it for you. During the setup process you will be pointed to this option.</p>

      • 1143

        14 February, 2017 - 1:50 pm

        <blockquote><em><a href="#42396">In reply to </a><a href="../../../../users/SherlockHolmes">SherlockHolmes</a><a href="#42396">:</a></em></blockquote>
        <p>Currently, my domain is hosted by Sherweb. At some point I would want Outlook.com Premium to host my domain. I just was asking If I can lock in the $20 per year price now and move my domain later. Or is the $20 just for the first year and it will go up to $50 per year after that?</p>

        • 3128

          14 February, 2017 - 9:14 pm

          <blockquote><em><a href="#42400">In reply to </a><a href="../../../../users/slbailey1">slbailey1</a><a href="#42400">:</a>&nbsp;Or is the $20 just for the first year and it will go up to $50 per year after that?</em></blockquote>
          <p>That was my question too. Is it only for the first year, or life? I found this under the offer terms of the Outlook Premium page, which (if I’m reading it correctly) leads me to believe it stays $20 at least until you’re notified of a price increase.</p>
          <p style="padding-left: 30px;">&nbsp;<em>*Offer Terms</em><br /><em>*Personalized email free for the first year. Your subscriptions will auto-renew annually at $19.95 (Outlook.com Premium) and $10 (Custom Domain). Custom Domain subscriptions are not available on a stand-alone basis; a concurrent Outlook.com Premium subscription is required. You will be notified if the price changes; cancel at any time at premium.outlook.com. Offer expires March 31st 2017.</em></p>

  • 5456

    Premium Member
    14 February, 2017 - 12:21 pm

    <p>Strange. I use Outlook.com Premium in Germany since it entered the Preview.</p>

  • 187

    14 February, 2017 - 1:42 pm

    <p>I wonder if this is connected to not being able to ‘send from’ an outside domain in Outlook (desktop client) anymore?</p>

  • 351

    Premium Member
    14 February, 2017 - 1:54 pm

    <p>What is the relationship between the Microsoft Account that you use to sign up for Premium and your&nbsp;domain accounts you will&nbsp;get with premium? &nbsp;Would your Microsoft Account email (hotmail.com/outlook.com) still be separate from your domain emails?&nbsp; I still have another Microsoft account with my domain&nbsp;as the Login ID, from back when I used Windows Live Domains (or whatever it was called).&nbsp; I moved my domain email to another provider, but the Microsoft account still exists.&nbsp; I’m not sure whether I should use that account to sign up for Premium, or if I should use my main hotmail.com account that all of my other Microsoft services are associated with.&nbsp; It’s hard to tell what the ramifications are.</p>

    • 351

      Premium Member
      14 February, 2017 - 10:02 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#42402">In reply to </a><a href="../../../../users/rth314">rth314</a><a href="#42402">:</a></em></blockquote>
      <p>I’ll answer my own question.&nbsp; Whatever Microsoft Account you use to sign up for Premium will be the Inbox for your primary domain account.&nbsp; Your primary domain email address is only an alias.&nbsp; So in my case, I wanted my Hotmail&nbsp;email address&nbsp;to be separate from my domain email address.&nbsp; So I signed up&nbsp;with a different Microsoft Account.&nbsp; I had no choice anyway since my Hotmail account hasn’t yet been&nbsp;migrated to the new Outlook experience, and Microsoft won’t allow non-migrated accounts sign up for Premium, nor can non-migrated accounts be used to join existing Premium accounts.</p>

  • 289

    Premium Member
    14 February, 2017 - 2:34 pm

    <p>Can someone who is currently using this with custom domain and multiple users clarify how it works? Do the other users log into Outlook using [email protected]? Can they somehow link this to their own MS Account to take advantage of an Office 365 Home subscription?</p>

  • 2611

    Premium Member
    14 February, 2017 - 3:56 pm

    <p>This should be part of Office 365 – take a note from amazon prime and bundle all MS consumer subscription stuff into one thing (XBox Live Gold, Music, etc).</p>

  • 316

    Premium Member
    14 February, 2017 - 5:45 pm

    <p>The pricing seems similar to a single-user Exchange Online subscription… which does support custom domains but you can’t send "from" an alternate e-mail address (such as a catch-all forwarder).</p>

  • 5783

    14 February, 2017 - 6:22 pm

    <p>I need more than five emails for my family. A few more but not many. Anyone know if it’s possible to pay more for more than five?</p>

    • 10801

      15 February, 2017 - 11:06 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#42440">In reply to </a><a href="../../../../users/yaddamaster">yaddamaster</a><a href="#42440">:</a></em></blockquote>
      <p>According to the FAQ https://premium.outlook.com/#/FAQ you can only have five accounts but each account can have up to 10 aliases.</p>

  • 6599

    15 February, 2017 - 12:50 am

    <p>I signed up for Outlook Premium a few days ago, and I got a welcome email earlier today.</p>
    <p>I’m in India, so it does appear to be open for other markets, not just the US.</p>

  • 996

    Premium Member
    15 February, 2017 - 7:33 am

    <p>This brand new amazing feature is rolling out Now! To Everyone!&nbsp;Worldwide* and in multiple languages**</p>
    <p>**English (En-US) Only.</p>

  • 10801

    15 February, 2017 - 11:10 am

    <p>Has anyone done this yet with a grandfathered custom domain outlook.com account? I’m nervous about breaking my family’s email. If [email protected] upgrades, do [email protected] and [email protected] lose access to their email until dad invites them to the new account? After accepting the invitation will they find everything just the same as they left it?</p>

  • wdhawkins

    17 February, 2017 - 6:49 am

    <p>I understand and appreciate the benefits of Outlook.com Premium, but I am struggling to understand how it is better than what my family already does with a shared standard Outlook.com account (family calendar, inbox and contacts).&nbsp; We all have our own accounts (some with custom domains, some without) and the family account synched to all of our devices.&nbsp; We can all create and see family events and contacts, as well as subscribe to each other's calendars and have all this show in a single colour-coded view on both web apps and in client apps.&nbsp; This setup also gives us a shared OneDrive and we can share files and folders from our personal OneDrive as required.&nbsp; We have been doing this for YEARS and WITHOUT Outlook.com Premium.&nbsp; What (significant) benefit are we missing?</p>

  • jrkriley

    17 February, 2017 - 12:44 pm

    <p>Can you sign into windows 10 with a premium account and a custom domain?</p>

  • Curtis McLaws

    23 February, 2017 - 1:22 am

    <p>Just as an FYI, today the deal is that I am getting the 1st year for the domain name for free, after that the price for the domain continues for $10 a year.</p>

  • patmcq

    Premium Member
    16 March, 2017 - 9:41 pm


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