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Microsoft Outlook – Free and Paid


Microsoft Outlook - free and paidYou don’t have to pay premium anymore for the time management greatness that comes with Microsoft Outlook. There are other cheaper and more flexible options.

Microsoft Outlook traditionally was available at premium price – either to organizations or private person. Even a student offer is about high tens of dollars. And that’s for the desktop edition (Outlook 2010 at the time as of this writing). Another alternative is Office 365, a web based edition. The price model is also different, it’s based on monthly subscription. It’s called utility model, just like electricity bill – you pay monthly subscription fee. It starts at $4 per user/month. It is almost two years usage compared to the student offer for the desktop edition price wise. The biggest difference is that with the web edition everything is stored in the “cloud” (not on your desktop rather on the Internet) and you cannot easily cut and paste images into your emails – it just takes few extra clicks. The rest of the user experience is pretty much the same – shortcuts, drag and drop, categories, all these key features are there with the web edition.

Here are even greater news. Hotmail (free web based email) users can convert their existing Hotmail experience to Outlook.com experience which gets closer to the premium versions of the product. It supports categories, folders and subfolders, and drag and drop. Another point to have in mind is that Outlook 2010 (the desktop edition) can be used as a client to both Office 365 and Outlook.com allowing richest possible experience.

Having this quick overview in mind you can achieve great time management practices almost equally with all the editions of Microsoft Outlook – the premium Outlook 2010 edition, the Office 365 web based subscription edition, and the free Outlook.com edition.

Start saving time, and now at as low as free!

Outlook Editions At A Glance

Outlook 2010 Office 365 Outlook.com
Price High tens of $$ and up. One time. Few $$ month. Monthly subscription Free
Experience Richest possible. Desktop. Very rich. Web based. Basic. Web based.
Key Features
  • Offline/Online
  • Drag and drop
  • Copy/Paste pics
  • Desktop Storage
  • Categories
  • Subfolders
  • Online only
  • Drag and drop
  • “Cloud” Storage
  • Categories
  • Subfolders
  • Online only
  • Drag and drop
  • “Cloud” Storage
  • Categories
  • Subfolders
Works w/Outlook 2010 Yes Yes


Image by -william

27 August 2012


  • J.D. Meier said:

    I was surprised by the overall experience of Outlook.com.

    I especially like the model of folders + views, which is something I’ve used to manually simplify my email for years.

  • alik levin (author) said:

    I had exactly the same reaction to the new Outlook.com’ user interface and the ‘views’ feature. Like it.

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