What's with these Outlook.com promo emails?

An Office-Watch.com reader asks about the emails promoting Outlook.com that are heading his way.

All of a sudden, I’m getting emails asking me to sign up for “Outlook.com”. Do you know what that is all about?
I already subscribe to “Office 365” following the purchase and update information that you folks provide to keep my annual subscription costs down.
Is this just another way to sell “Office” or something new?    – 
Patrick F

Outlook.com is Microsoft free email/calendar/contacts hosting, previously called Hotmail.com.  In other words, Microsoft’s version of Gmail.

Patrick already has Office and Outlook.com is free so Microsoft isn’t trying to sell anything … directly.

Microsoft does want people to use their Outlook.com mail hosting instead of Google, Yahoo or other email hosting.

More people using Outlook.com means more advertising revenue from web page ads.  It’s also a base to sell other Microsoft products.

Most important, it’s part of Microsoft’s cloud strategy, they want everyone using their interconnected services.  That’s why more parts of Office are linked to cloud services.  Those services are hard for a rival to duplicate and keep the customer more locked into Office.

Using Outlook.com mail hosting is another part of that.  If you’re using Microsoft mail hosting, you’re more likely to keep using their other software and rely on the links/features between them.

We’ve been calling this strategy ‘customer entanglement’ but suspect there’s a proper marketing / behavioral term.  If you know, please let us know.

Outlook.com Premium

As an Office 365 customer, Patrick can get extras in Outlook.com that you previously had to pay for.

The catch (and another example of Microsoft entangling customers) is that your Office 365 account has to be linked to your Outlook.com .


All that’s assuming the messages are really from Microsoft and not phishing attempts.  Make sure any link you click is from Microsoft.com

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