Microsoft is discontinuing the premium version of Outlook.com as a separate product and moving its features to Office 365. Existing users of Outlook.com Premium will continue to enjoy all its benefits and will also be able to renew their subscription if they wish to use it separately.
New users will have to take an Office 365 Home or Personal subscription to access them. The former costs Rs4,619 annually or Rs460 every month, while the latter is priced at Rs3,629 per year or Rs360 per month. Users won’t have to pay anything extra to access these features.
There are various features in Outlook.com Premium which separate it from the free version of Outlook.com. The advertisement-free inbox, additional protection against malware attacks, more storage for inbox, and premium customer support will be available right away, while the rest of the feature such as advanced sharing options and custom domains will roll out afterwards.
The premium version offers an advertisement-free experience. This means your Outlook.com interface in Office 365 will not show any banner or native advertisement. As a result, mails will load faster as there will be no advertisements to sap data and there will be less distraction for users.
It also provides extra protection against malware. A lot of malware attacks are carried out through spam emails with malicious links and attachments. While the free version of Outlook.com comes with features such as virus and spam filtering, the premium version also scans attachments for hidden malware using advanced detection tools. If anything harmful is detected, it will be removed and the users will be alerted before they end up clicking on them.
The other advantage of the premium version is the extra storage for your mail box. With free version of Outlook.com, users get 15GB storage, but now they will have access to 50GB of storage that comes with Office 365 account.
Outlook.com Premium was released in February 2017 for enterprise users and costs $19 (Rs 1,227) per annum. The fact that it is being discontinued within a period of eight months from launch suggests that it hasn’t been able to get the traction Microsoft was looking for. Introducing its features in Office 365 makes the latter more worthwhile for users as they won’t have to subscribe separately to enjoy full benefits of the email service. Microsoft has said that users who had subscribed for both office 365 as well as Outlook.com Premium will not be refunded.