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article imageMicrosoft's Outlook.com Premium gets folded into Office 365

By James Walker     Oct 30, 2017 in Technology
Microsoft has quietly announced the end of its Outlook.com Premium email service less than nine months after it launched. The subscription gave customers their own domain and an ad-free inbox. Some features are now being added to the regular Outlook.com.
In its announcement today, Microsoft said it's bringing new "premium benefits" to Office 365 subscribers who use Outlook.com. However, a link at the bottom of the company's post revealed the true meaning of the change. The dedicated Outlook.com Premium service, launched back in February, is going away and will be closed to new subscriptions.
Microsoft hasn't stated why it's axing the Premium plan. Low subscriber numbers seem the most likely culprit since Microsoft has never actively promoted the service.
The company's new approach, making many of the formerly "premium" features available to Office 365 subscribers, seems to make more sense. Formerly, Premium was a separate subscription even if you already owned Office.
Outlook.com Premium
Outlook.com Premium
Microsoft
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Office 365 Home and Personal users will now get an ad-free online Outlook experience, improved threat protection capabilities and a larger email inbox. Outlook.com's 15GB of storage will be expanded up to 50GB, giving you more room to store your emails. Microsoft also said that free technical support will be available if required.
"Today, we began rolling out new benefits for Office 365 Home and Office 365 Personal subscribers who use Outlook.com," said Microsoft. "These premium email features include an ad-free inbox, enhanced protection against malware and phishing, larger mailbox sizes, and premium customer support. In the coming months, we'll be introducing additional premium Outlook.com features to make personal email and calendar experiences for Office 365 subscribers more powerful, productive, and secure."
Outlook.com Premium's other features, notably including personalised domains and enhanced OneDrive sharing, won't be revived. Microsoft said current subscribers will be able to keep using their benefits indefinitely but no new customers will be able to join. The company hasn't said when the service will be shut down but a support post on the topic suggests ongoing subscriptions can still be renewed.
Microsoft's cloud services are one of the company's biggest successes but Outlook.com Premium doesn't seem to count among them. Offering exclusive Outlook capabilities to Office 365 subscribers should be a more effective plan for the future, further increasing Office's value by giving customers secure ad-free email at no added cost.
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