Microsoft has launched invite-only testing for Outlook Premium, a paid subscription service that gives customers five personalized email addresses (and easier calendar sharing between those people), plus a "distraction-free" inbox without banner ads. Office365 subscribers get it for free, but otherwise the service costs $3.99 monthly.
Microsoft is giving users — at least those in the pilot program — their entire first year for free. Outlook Premium subscribers can sign up for a custom email domain rather than be saddled with an Outlook.com address; Microsoft has partnered with GoDaddy to handle the domain side of things.
Once you've got that domain, you can add five personalized email addresses on top of it for coworkers, family, or whatever you're using Outlook Premium for. Considering the limited perks you're getting here, even $3.99 per month seems a tiny bit steep. But again, at least that first year is free. Microsoft is clearly exploring new ways to turn its email platform into a money-maker, but as it's currently in invite-only mode, you'll need to wait a bit for your own turn trying it.