A few weeks ago, we told you that Microsoft was testing an Outlook.com Premium service that would offer subscribers up to 5 custom emails addresses along with other goodies such as an ad-free inbox. So far, the service appeared to be free for Office 365 customers, but according to new reports Microsoft seems to have updated the information on the dedicated web page to indicate that the premium email service could be offered as a standalone $3.99 monthly subscription.
If you click on the “Get started” button, you will be able to fill your personal information to get on the waiting list. We tried the process with several Microsoft accounts, but once you’re done it seems that in some cases the page no longer displays the new information about this new $3.99 subscription. Instead, we got sometimes the old description which previously said: “Get up to five personalized email addresses, an ad-free inbox, and more with Outlook.com Premium, free with your Office 365 subscription”.
However, the details provided in the “disclosure” section didn’t change: the custom domains will still be managed by GoDaddy and will be free with Outlook Premium for the first year. Please note that as this is still a Pilot program, details could change in future and Microsoft still has to communicate about this premium email service more widely. But if Microsoft still plans to offer this Outlook.com premium service with Office 365 subscriptions, we’re not sure if this standalone $3.99 monthly subscription would be good value as you can get much more goodies with an Office 365 Personal subscription ($6.99 per month or $69.99 per year) which includes the Office 2016 apps for your PC and Mac and 1TB of Onedrive storage.
Update: I applied to try Outlook.com premium today, and one of my Outlook.com account just received an invite. The setup is pretty straightforward, you just choose the domain of your choice (you can either choose your own if you already have one. Otherwise you will be given a few suggestions) and then you’re set! I selected a random domain, and I confirm that the service is free, and Microsoft didn’t ask me any billing information during the process. However, I didn’t receive any message telling me when my “free” will end.
Once you’re set, you can go back to your Inbox and enjoy an ad-free mailbox. You can also access an online dashboard where you can invite up to four other people to have a personalized email address in this custom domain. Microsoft adds that “sharing relationships are set up automatically between the people who have email addresses on your domain.” Last, you can also get some information about how to add additional DNS Records.
Please tell us in the comments if you’re interested in a standalone Outlook Premium subscription, and feel free to try to get on the waiting list over here.