One of Microsoft's free services that's been around since 2005 is being slowly shut down. The company quietly announced Thursday on its Windows Live Admin Center website that it has stopped taking new registrations for its free Custom Domains service for Hotmail and Outlook.com customers.
The website states that administrators who manage email addresses in these custom domains will be given the option to move them to Office 365; this means Microsoft is shutting down their free service in favor of one that requires a paid Office 365 subscription.
While the website states that current Outlook.com users can no longer add or remove new accounts in their free custom domain, ZDNet reports that domain admins will still be able to create and delete accounts on the service for another two months. Sometime in June, that feature will be shut down, but all custom email addresses will continue to be supported "indefinitely" as stand alone Outlook.com accounts.
Once the transition is completed, Microsoft will give custom domain users a free three month subscription to Office 365 Small Business Premium to help ease the move from the free to the paid email service.