As Office 365 continues to become Microsoft's core productivity software platform, the premium, ad-free version of outlook.com is being shutdown with its features folded into Office 365 as of today. That means the only way to get an ad-free cloud-email service from Microsoft will be to pony up for the dearer Office 365.
With SaaS increasingly becoming the way individuals and businesses deploy email services, making that offering ad-free makes it even more attractive. While Office 365 costs almost three times as much as Premium Outlook.com, you fo get a lot more for your money.
I think this also signals a change in the way cloud services are delivered. Microsoft is banking on users being prepared to pay an annual subscription fee for an ad-free experience rather than be hit wth ads.
Existing subscribers won't be pushed over to Office 365 but there's no way to access premium Outlook.com without Office 365 from today.
Is this a sign of the times? Will more oline services turn to subscriptions and dispense wth adverts?