Outlook, Outlook and Outlook Clarification please

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Yes, I mean it!  Only Microsoft could have intentionally made something so confusing by naming what seems to be 3 products the same!  You have XXX@Outlook.com (the email provider), Outlook.com (the online email client) and Outlook 2016 (the Office 365 app)!  Now I appreciate that given their correct full name there are easily distinguishable from each other but when you are trying to learn something new and the article says just "Outlook" it can be very confusing!

 

It seems to me Outlook.com is the free online service that anyone can use with an @Outlook.com email account so why pay for Office 365?

 

Outlook 2016 doesn't seem to be able to combine IMAP inboxes in Windows (but it canm on a Mac!) so why pay for Office 365?

 

It seems to me that the only advantage I get from using (paying) for Office 365 for email handling is that I can capture my emails in Outlook 2016 and work on the offline but the price I pay for that is to either have to have (in my case) many different IMAP inboxes or 1 inbox linked to many different POP accounts and have to update the server accounts manually, effectively doubling the workload!

 

I have Hotmail accounts, BTinternet accounts, GMail accounts and own domain accounts and would welcome any thoughts of bringing them all under one app that is syncronised between desktop for offline work and a webmail service for online work (oh and don't forget the phone and laptop). 

 

I am concerned to use Forwarding to push them all into one service because I have found that some items just don't get forwarded (I can see from Internet gossip that I am not alone in this) and I cannot see that the BT accounts have a Forwarding facility.  I am currently thinking of having all the accounts linked to Outlook 2016 by POP, channel incomings to one inbox/archive folder set and then IMAPing that back out to a webmail service but I am concerned that I will be able to manage sending addresses both in Outlook 2016 and whichever webmail service I link back to.

 

Why do Microsoft treat their own Windows users less so than competing Mac products?  Seems a sure way to send customers to the opposition!