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Microsoft is Killing Outlook.com Premium (thurrott.com) 49

Paul Thurrott, writing for Thurrott.com: A support document describing new premium Outlook.com features for Office 365 subscribers hides the real story today: Microsoft just killed Outlook.com Premium. I wrote earlier about how Microsoft was bringing some Outlook.com Premium features, like an ad-free inbox, to Office 365 Home and Personal subscribers. That's great news, of course. But a related support document buries the lede. "The Outlook.com Premium standalone offering is now closed to new subscribers," the support document notes. "Current subscribers can renew their subscriptions to continue receiving subscription benefits." Yikes. There's also a link to another support document that continues this conversation. But there really isn't much more to say. If you're already using Outlook.com Premium, you can continue to do so. And for now, at least, you can even renew the subscription and keep using its unique features, like custom domain support.
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Microsoft is Killing Outlook.com Premium

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    More pointless usage of the word "killing".

  • I'm confused (Score:4, Insightful)

    by IWantMoreSpamPlease ( 571972 ) on Monday October 30, 2017 @01:37PM (#55458289) Homepage Journal

    How is closing the door to new subscribers, killing off the program?

    • Re:I'm confused (Score:4, Insightful)

      by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Monday October 30, 2017 @01:39PM (#55458311)

      How is closing the door to new subscribers, killing off the program?

      I imagine the author thinks Microsoft is going to follow Google's playbook here.

    • by mccalli ( 323026 )
      It isn't literally, but it's a pretty strong hint as to the future.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      How is closing the door to new subscribers, killing off the program?

      Ummm, because almost without exception "not taking new subscribers" translates into "well, this isn't working, but we've already taken your money so we have to keep up appearances as we try to migrate you to our next bad idea".

      It pretty much means "end of being an active product and being phased out". If it was viable, or what they wanted people using, they'd be gladly taking new subscriptions.

      It usually means either they're losing money,

      • Except that, in this case, they're still maintaining it as part of Office365, they're just no longer selling it as a stand-alone product. If you're an existing subscriber, there's literally no benefit for Microsoft to stop taking your money: some people will switch to Office365, but others will switch to gmail or whatever. There's no software maintenance cost for them, because they're still selling the exact same product as part of Office365.

        Remember back when Microsoft stopped selling Word and so on a

    • If they don't replace the people who quit, it eventually dies.

    • get this taboola ad out of my inbox! 2122067663 is clueless.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Both users are devastated.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    They are bacically combining two SKUs into one. Being that almost everyone who used outlook premium also used 365 personal it makes perfect sense to tie in.

    • by teg ( 97890 )

      They are bacically combining two SKUs into one. Being that almost everyone who used outlook premium also used 365 personal it makes perfect sense to tie in.

      In that case, it makes less sense as that would be leaving money on the table?

  • by ErichTheRed ( 39327 ) on Monday October 30, 2017 @02:09PM (#55458503)

    One of the nice things Outlook Premium lets you do was host email at a vanity domain, but with Hotmail/Outlook.com levels of reliability and therefore a lower cost. Doing the same thing with Exchange Online is much more money, and works well for those who don't want Office 365. (I have free or cheap access to Office 365 from at least 3 different programs that I can think of.)

    I guess it's another example of Microsoft figuring out the maximum level of revenue extraction they can get and balancing that with offering "gateway services" that get people hooked. Office 365 was/is the hook for companies to move to Azure. The company I work for went through the transition to 365 last year, and it's pretty obvious what the plan is when you look at it from a distance. First, establishing Office 365 makes your company establish an Azure Active Directory. Next step is to get rid of OWA and allow your users Exchange access, thereby getting you to federate your classic Active Directory. Once you're there, it's a short leap to letting developers build Azure stuff. And once the Shadow IT people are reined in, they make it incredbly easy to move workloads to Azure. It's all about getting people to stop buying software and start paying their Microsoft bill monthly.

    • One of the nice things Outlook Premium lets you do was host email at a vanity domain, but with Hotmail/Outlook.com levels of reliability and therefore a lower cost. Doing the same thing with Exchange Online is much more money, and works well for those who don't want Office 365.

      Exchange online: $4/user/month
      Outlook Premium: $4/user/month

      They may have changed it, and they may not advertise it, but in the past I haven't had trouble setting up exchange online with business domains.

  • I remember when Microsoft killed off MyPhone and the Windows Mobile app store.

    http://www.bgr.in/news/microso... [www.bgr.in]

    What that meant was "Windows Mobile is dead. All your favourite mobile applications already run on Android and iOS and don't work on Windows Phone. Time to migrate to one of those".

    In my case my favourite application was Pleco [pleco.com], a Chinese dictionary. That worked on Windows Mobile and now runs on iOS and Android and not on Windows Phone.

    Now Windows Mobile was never a commercial success, except compar

  • by Anonymous Coward

    This is why I was always worried the Internet would go mainstream.

    I don't care what I get labelled as: I sincerely miss the old days, and not just for the nostalgia of dialup tones and refreshing the BBS. Just the semblance privacy is something I have to pay a premium for and my software is a rental service now. That makes me a saaaaaad panda.

    I guess I shouldn't actually complain though since I don't use the service, host my own email server and I don't actually rent any software... but even so! I shall tak

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I don't miss dialup...but I do miss the internet before all the money grabbing and the advertising and everyone trying to force all kinds of things onto it that it was never designed for because God forbid a for profit company should actually have to pay for its own infrastructure or anything.

      I miss real competition, I miss no Facebook and especially no Facebook users. What I really miss is people inventing actually useful things. There's been no real progress except in processor speed, memory, and stora

  • by DontBeAMoran ( 4843879 ) on Monday October 30, 2017 @02:34PM (#55458647)

    Stop using Microsoft outlook as soon as you can and migrate to another online service, ideally by a company which you can trust, which won't read your emails and monetize your account with ads, such as Google.

    • by mysidia ( 191772 )

      Microsoft has a better privacy record with E-mail than Google, specifically because they don't have a policy that allows scanning users' e-mail to extract information for generating ads

    • Not true. If you pay for gmail, you don't get ads. This has been going on ever since I can remember.

      And unlike Microsoft, Google still accepts new paying customers for that particular service.

      • Not true. If you pay for gmail, you don't get ads.

        But your data is still used by Google to sell to the highest bidder. That was the point.

        • But your data is still used by Google to sell to the highest bidder. That was the point.

          Google doesn't sell data to the highest bidders, it sells ads to the highest bidders. That's how its business model works. It sells the milk, not the cow, nor the know-how. That's how it ensures that advertisers can't go elsewhere. That's why I believe Google when it claims it doesn't use paid gmail accounts for advertising.

          That being said, and if I remember correctly, the free academic accounts are another story. Google does point out that once a free academic account is converted to alumni status, then it

      • A few months ago, Slashdot reported Google was in trouble over their gmail for education product because they weren't showing ads to children, but they were scanning the information to build a profile of the children. Want to bet that their commercial version doesn't do the same thing?

  • Outlook tells me every time I check my email that Iâ(TM)m using Adblock (just in case I forget and get too comfortable I guess). So is that going away?

    • by SeaFox ( 739806 )

      Sounds like they are getting rid of the Outlook.com Premium tier and only giving that experience to Office 365 subscribers. So no. You will still get that banner. They are effectively raising the price of getting an ad-free Outlook website experience, since an Outlook 365 sub is going to me more expensive than the Premium Outlook.com I'm sure.

    • I haven't seen ads on Outlook.com for years. A few hosts entries takes care of that, even using Internet Exploder. I normally use the Outlook 2013 desktop client anyway, I prefer to keep local copies of all my email (via a backup PST file). Here's what blocks the ads for me:

      127.0.0.1 a.ads1.msn.com

      127.0.0.1 a.ads2.msads.net

      127.0.0.1 a.ads2.msn.com

      127.0.0.1 ads.msn.com

      127.0.0.1 ads1.msads.net

      127.0.0.1 ads1.msn.com

      127.0.0.1 b.ads1.msn.com

      127.0.0.1 b.ads2.msads.net

      127.0.0.1 ol.at.atwola.c

  • Why source news from a longtime big Microsoft shill?
    • Is the story/summary inaccurate in someway? Or do you just have an irrational fear of anything Microsoft so feel the need to shout out every time you hear the word?
  • If you still have ads in your browser in 2017, you're part of the problem.

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