Microsoft today announced the rollout of new premium Outlook.com features to Office 365 customers. The company has opted to close the original Outlook.com Premium Program for new subscribers, instead now rolling out an ad-free experience, protection against email threats, more mailbox storage, and premium support to all users with an existing Office 365 subscription.
First and foremost, Microsoft has closed the original Outlook.com Premium standalone offering to new subscribers. Current subscribers can renew their subscriptions and continue receiving the same benefits. The personalized email address feature of Outlook.com Premium, though, will not be available in Office 365 Home or Office 365 Personal subscriptions in the new Outlook.com Premium.
Moving on, with the ad-free experience, Office 365 Home and Office 365 Personal subscribers will no longer see banner ads as well as advertisements in the message list. According to Microsoft, this will make for "fewer distractions and faster page load times, so you can be more focused and have a better email experience."
Next up are the sophisticated protection against email threats. Here, Office 365 Home and Office 365 Personal subscribers will be able to protect themselves against viruses and ransomware with the ability to scan attachments and check links.
The last of the significant features is access to more mailbox storage. Office 365 Home and Office 365 Personal subscribers will be able to enjoy 50GB of email storage space, up from the 15GB which is offered to a standard free Outlook.com account currently. Also, as part of the change, Microsoft will be boosting storage limits to 50 GB for all Outlook.com users whose mailbox size is 12 GB or larger.
Please be aware that the rollout is currently underway worldwide for those with Office 365 Home and Office 365 Personal subscriptions. If you don't see these features at first, don't be alarmed, as Microsoft is saying that the process of updating all accounts will take about one month. Addresses ending in @outlook.com, @hotmail.com, @live.com, and @msn.com will get Premium benefits automatically. Gmail or Yahoo accounts, or other non-Outlook.com accounts will not receive the benefits.
Those who have access to Outlook.com Premium will also have access to the highest level of Premium Support, either via the app or the phone. Additionally, if an Office 365 Home subscription is used with other users, the benefits of Outlook.com Premium can still be shared.