Microsoft Outlook Premium now in testing: Worth it?

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Microsoft is looking for new ways to make money from its online services and most importantly, its Outlook email platform. Usually, the company makes money from Outlook through advertisements but it is looking to change that scheme with Outlook Premium. This version of Outlook is not free, with its paid experience costing users $3.99 per month. The free version will still be available: it just won’t have all the bells and whistles of the premium version.

According to Microsoft, the premium version of Outlook will do away with advertisements, giving users a clean and less cluttered email experience. Not only that, but subscribers will also get up to five personalized email address along with easier calendar sharing between users on the web. In addition, Outlook Premium users can take advantage of the custom email domain feature as Microsoft has partnered with popular web hosting company GoDaddy to bring it to life.

When we consider the number of perks that come with Outlook Premium, $3.99 per month is a bit on the heavy side. Still, that shouldn’t matter much for those who have been invited to test Outlook Premium because they will all get an entire year free. As it stands right now, Microsoft is definitely looking for new ways to monetize its free services. Outlook, as it is right now, is a solid email program — but not everyone likes to look at banner advertisements while reading their emails. And while giving users a choice between paying and free with ads is a good move, additional perks need to be added to the package before most people deem the price point something they’d spring for.

So, will Outlook users band together and use Outlook Premium? We suspect the majority will continue to use the free version for the foreseeable future seeing as the ads are not intrusive and not everyone has the need for a customized email address. Furthermore, it is possible to gain access to these features by subscribing to Office 365, a far better service in terms of features for just $9.99 per month.

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