Custom domains in Outlook.com was a short-lived experiment. As announced earlier this week (right after I encouraged a couple of clients to consider using it), Microsoft closed the Outlook.com Premium service to new subscribers. Current subscribers can continue to use the premium services as long as they continue to pay for it.
The only option for hosting custom domains will be on the business side, where email-only is $4/month per mailbox. This plan is closest to the Outlook.com offerings and includes the ability to configure junk mail filtering and other options, which are not available in Outlook.com. In my opinion, it’s a better (but more expensive) option for calendar and contact sharing with other family members.
Some of the “premium” features are being rolled into Office 365 Home and Personal subscriptions, including ad-free Outlook on the web (which should have been ad-free from day 1). In addition, Office 365 Home and Personal subscribers will have a 50 GB mailbox, enhanced email security and premium support.
However, subscribers need to have an Outlook.com address (including Hotmail, live, and msn.com) associated with their subscription to receive the premium upgrade. If you need the premium features and used a gmail, yahoo, or other non-outlook.com address to set it up, add an Outlook.com alias to the Microsoft account and set it as default. (It won’t mess up Microsoft account logins; at most you’ll need to sign in using the outlook.com address. I changed the addresses on several accounts last year and it was surprisingly smooth.)
It is expected to take several weeks for these new benefits to roll out to subscribers.