Microsoft's Outlook.com Premium email service sheds the 'preview' tag

Microsoft has moved its Outlook.com Premium service from public preview to general availability, but so far, for US users only.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

Microsoft has removed the "preview" tag from its Outlook.com Premium email service.

Credit: Microsoft

A year ago, Microsoft was privately testing Outlook.com Premium. In October last year, Microsoft moved the service from an invitation-only pilot to a public preview.

Sometime recently -- I've asked Microsoft officials for comment as to when -- Microsoft removed the "preview" tag from Outlook.com Premium, as Thurrott.com noted today, February 14.

As it was during the public preview, Outlook.com Premium is still for US users only who have been moved to the new Outlook.com.

Outlook.com Premium gives users a personalized email address that can be shared among five people, plus an ad-free inbox. The service currently costs $19.95, but is regularly $49.95 per year, according to the service's web site.

Here's how pricing will work, according to a Frequently Asked Questions page about Outlook.com Premium:

"Your subscription to Outlook.com Premium will automatically renew annually at the then current price. If you create a new personalized email domain during the registration process, your personalized email domain will be free for the first year. At the end of your first year, there will be an additional charge per year for your personalized email domain."

I've asked Microsoft when the company will offer Outlook.com Premium to those outside the US. No word back so far.

Update (February 15): A Microsoft spokesperson declined to specify when Microsoft removed the preview tag from Outlook.com Premium. (Why? No idea.) All they would do is provide this re-statement of what's happened:

"We've removed the 'preview' label from Outlook.com Premium as we're ready to share this experience broadly with our customers. There has been no update or change to the experience. We don't have any additional information to share."

Officials also declined to provide a timetable as to when the service will be available outside the U.S. I've heard from a few readers outside the U.S. that they can sign up for the service, as it's just a matter of the sign-up page not being localized.

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