If you’re a business owner or IT manager, you may be considering which Microsoft subscription plan is right for your company. In 2017, Microsoft introduced subscription-based Office apps with two licensing models: Office 365 and Microsoft 365. While the distinction between the two originally referred to the inclusion of a Windows OS license for Microsoft 365, that distinction has become muddled in recent years.
In 2020, Microsoft rebranded its consumer and small to medium business (SMB) Office packages under the Microsoft 365 name, while keeping the distinction between Office 365 and Microsoft 365 for enterprise subscriptions. This has left many potential subscribers with a confusing array of options to choose from.
For SMBs, Microsoft 365 offers four different packages: Business Basic, Apps for Business, Business Standard, and Business Premium. These packages don’t include a Windows license, but they do offer various Office components at prices ranging from $4.50 to $17 per user per month. Larger customers can choose between Office 365 E1, E3, and E5 packages, with prices ranging from $7.50 to $33 per user per month. There is also an F3 package, aimed at “frontline workers” who don’t need the full set of data analysis and storage features and cost just $3 per user per month.
Alternatively, the all-inclusive Microsoft 365 E3, E5, and F3 packages add a Windows 11 Enterprise license for each user, at a cost of $32, $48, or $6 per user per month.
It’s important to carefully consider which subscription plan is right for your business. Be sure to assess your company’s needs and budget before making a decision. It may also be helpful to consult with a tech expert or Microsoft partner to ensure you choose the best option for your company.