Well this is hilarious: Microsoft thinks people are actually going to be interested in paying for a premium version of Outlook. Microsoft pundit Paul Thurrott recently discovered evidence of a new “Outlook.com Premium” site that will charge users $3.99 per month for bonus email features that aren’t available in the free client. A monthly fee for email? What is this, 1980?
The current Outlook Premium site exists in beta and is only available for early testers right now. The site advertises that premium members will receive five personalized email addresses, an ad-free inbox “and more” at no cost for a year. If you dig it after that, you can subscribe for the aforementioned $3.99 monthly fee.
As Thurrott notes, this appears to be Microsoft’s way of trying to squeeze some money out of its free Outlook.com site, while also improving the end-user experience by removing ads. Microsoft confirmed the testing of its premium Outlook service in a statement to TechCrunch.
“Outlook.com Premium is currently a small pilot program,” the company said. “We’re always investigating new features based on the wants and needs of our customers, and we have nothing more to share at this time.”