Microsoft and Office 365 subscription comparison

Once you decide to keep your business data in the cloud and use Office 365 service for the administration process, it is good to figure out what functions you need exactly. It may be a bit overwhelming to navigate the differences. Office 365 provides multiple options for different business needs whether its small, medium or enterprise.

In this article, we are going to compare different Microsoft 365 subscription plans in order to understand what’s best for your type of business and how not to overpay.

Microsoft 365 for Business

Microsoft 365 Business plans were created for companies with less than 300 employees. This is usually small to medium businesses that don’t need all the features and functions from Enterprise subscription. The price varies from $5 to $20 per user. Also, Business type of service family can be prolonged monthly.

There are three types of Business plan: Business Basic, Business Standard and Business Premium. Let’s dive into each of them.

Business Basic

This type of subscription is the cheapest. Hence, its functionality is quite short. It works perfectly for small self-regulated teams who do not require Office 365 applications and online storage.
This subscription offers:

  • 50 GB of mailbox
  • Custom email domain address
  • Web versions of most popular Office apps: Word, Excel PowerPoint, etc.
  • Up to 1 TB of cloud storage per user
  • Online meetings and video conferencing for up to 300 users

The price for this plan is $6/user if you purchase it monthly and $5/user for annual purchase.

Business Standard

Standard plan is also good if your company has under 300 employees. However, this one has more useful features, allows installing Office apps on up to 5 devices per user and more. In a nutshell, here’s what you get:

  • Same 50 GB of mailbox and custom domain name
  • Desktop versions of all necessary Office apps: Outlook, Word, Excel Powerpoint, etc
  • Custom business web and mobile application creation with Power Apps, workflow automation with Power Automate (both platforms require no coding)
  • You can fully install Office apps on up to 5 devices per user using one license.
  • Up to 1 TB of cloud storage per user

This one costs $15/user per month ($12.50/user if purchased annually).

Business Premium

If your business requires an even more serious approach, this one’s for you. Business Premium plan takes all the best from Standard plan and adds advanced security features. This subscription provides advanced protection against different cybersecurity threats, such as ransomware, malware, zero-day attacks and more. Also, this plan allows restricting file sharing, saving and copying.

What is inside?

  • Same 50 GB of mailbox and custom domain name
  • Up to 1 TB of cloud storage per user
  • Access control of sensitive data using encryption
  • Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection
  • App protection for Office Mobile Apps

This type of subscription is compatible with Windows 10 Pro, some features may not work on Windows 10 Home. The price is $20/user monthly with annual commitment.

Microsoft & Office 365 Enterprise

Enterprise subscriptions are designed for companies with big amounts of employees and higher levels of informational security. You can choose an Enterprise license from Office 365 and Microsoft 365.

Let’s see the differences.

Office 365 E1, E3 and E5

Office 365 E1 subscription allows users to use web and mobile versions of Office applications, up to five tablets or phones. It gives access to Skype for Business Online, Yammer and 1 TB of OneDrive. The price is $8.00 user/month for annual commitment.

Office 365 E3 and E5 offer more functionality and space. E3 subscription gives 100 GB of mailbox and Exchange Online and 5 TB of OneDrive storage per user. The main difference from E1 is it has more advanced security control. E3 offers message encryption, rights management, and data loss prevention. It provides the ability to follow the legal compliance  with eDiscovery and mailbox hold. Annual commitment is $20.00 user/month.

E5 subscription is the final tier that combines all previous features with a consolidated phone system and business analytics tool. Audio Conferencing allows users to call and attend meetings via your phone, up to 250 phone attendees. Also, you can analyze your business data via charts, infographics and many other tools using Power BI Pro. The price for Office 365 E5 is $35.00 user/month with annual commitment.

Microsoft 365 E3

Microsoft 365 E3 is the lightest version of subscription that includes all basic features from Office 365. You may use web and mobile Office applications, collaborate in OneDrive and communicate in Teams and your data will be secured by Microsoft 365 data loss prevention systems. With a bunch of analytics tools, this subscription will cost you $32.00 user/month (annual commitment).

Microsoft 365 E5

Most expensive and extensive E5 license gives all security power that Microsoft can do. It assures data protection with Azure Information Protection and has its own data loss prevention system together with a centralized dashboard for 24/7 security monitoring.

As the previous plan, it includes Windows 10 Enterprise and all features from the other subscriptions This plan is recommended for those who need a first class productivity and security solution. This one will cost $57.00 user/month (annual commitment).

What to choose?

As you can see, Microsoft offers a wide range of different plans in order to fit for every type of business. So, it is best to carefully examine all the advantages of each subscription and decide what functionality is useful and what can be superfluous. It will let you save money and use the purchased license competently.

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