Licensing Microsoft 365 for small and medium-sized businesses

Microsoft 365 Business is the Microsoft best-in-class offering for small and medium-sized business (SMB) customers. Microsoft 365 Business is an integrated solution that brings together the productivity of Office 365 with advanced security and device management.

This article compares licensing options for SMBs, with a special emphasis on Microsoft 365 Business.

Feature comparison: Office 365 Business Premium and Microsoft 365 Business

Service area Feature Office 365 Business Premium Microsoft 365 Business
Licenses available Maximum number of users 300 300
Office apps Install Office on up to 5 PCs/Macs + 5 tablets + 5 smartphones per user (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Access), Office Online Business Business
Email & calendar Outlook, Exchange Online 50 GB 50 GB
Hub for teamwork Chat-based workspace, online meetings, and more in Microsoft Teams Yes Yes
File storage OneDrive for Business 1 TB per user 1 TB per user
Social, video, sites Stream, Yammer, Planner, SharePoint Online, PowerApps, Microsoft Flow Yes Yes
Business apps Scheduling apps – Bookings1 Yes Yes
Business apps – MileIQ1 Yes Yes
Threat protection Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection No Yes
Windows Exploit Guard enforcement No Yes
Identity management Self-service password reset for hybrid Azure Active Directory accounts No Yes
Azure Multi-Factor Authentication, conditional access policies No Yes
Device & app management Microsoft Intune No Yes
Shared computer activation No Yes
Windows AutoPilot, Windows Pro management No Yes
Upgrade rights to Windows 10 Pro for Win 7/8.1 Pro licenses No Yes
Windows Virtual Desktop No Yes
Information Protection Office 365 data loss prevention No Yes
Azure Information Protection Plan 1, BitLocker enforcement No Yes
Compliance Unlimited email archiving2 No Yes

Notes

1 Available in US, UK, Canada.

2 Unlimited archiving when auto-expansion is turned on.

Feature comparison: Microsoft 365 Business and Office 365 E3

Service area Feature Office 365 E3 Microsoft 365 Business
Licenses available Maximum number of users Unlimited 300
Office apps Install Office on up to 5 PCs/Macs + 5 tablets + 5 smartphones per user (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Access), Office Online ProPlus Business
Email & calendar Outlook, Exchange Online 100 GB 50 GB
Hub for teamwork Chat-based workspace, online meetings, and more in Microsoft Teams Yes Yes
File storage OneDrive for Business Unlimited 1 TB per user
Social, video, sites Stream, Yammer, Planner, SharePoint Online1, PowerApps1, Microsoft Flow1 Yes Yes
Business apps Scheduling apps – Bookings2 Yes Yes
Business apps – MileIQ2 No Yes
Threat protection Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection No Yes
Windows Exploit Guard enforcement No Yes
Identity management Self-service password reset for hybrid Azure Active Directory accounts No Yes
Azure Multi-Factor Authentication, conditional access policies No Yes
Device & app management Microsoft Intune, Windows AutoPilot, Windows Pro management No Yes
Shared computer activation Yes Yes
Upgrade rights to Windows 10 Pro for Win 7/8.1 Pro No Yes
Windows Virtual Desktop No Yes
Information protection Office 365 data loss prevention Yes Yes
Azure Information Protection Plan 1, BitLocker enforcement No Yes
On-premises CAL rights ECAL Suite (Exchange, SharePoint, Skype) Yes No
Compliance Unlimited email archiving3 Yes Yes

Notes

1 Indicates Office 365 Business Premium has Plan 1 of the functionality and Office 365 E3 has Plan 2.

2 Available in US, UK, Canada.

3 Unlimited archiving when auto-expansion is turned on.

Feature comparison: Office 365 Business Premium, Microsoft 365 Business, and Office 365 E3

Service area Feature Office 365 Business Premium Microsoft 365 Business Office 365 E3
Licenses available Maximum number of users 300 300 Unlimited
Office apps Install Office on up to 5 PCs/Macs + 5 tablets + 5 smartphones per user (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Access), Office Online Business Business ProPlus
Email & calendar Outlook, Exchange Online 50 GB 50 GB 100 GB
Hub for teamwork Chat-based workspace, online meetings, and more in Microsoft Teams Yes Yes Yes
File storage OneDrive for Business 1 TB per user 1 TB per user Unlimited
Social, video, sites Stream, Yammer, Planner, SharePoint Online1, PowerApps1, Microsoft Flow1 Yes Yes Yes
Business apps Scheduling apps – Bookings2 Yes Yes Yes
Business apps – MileIQ2 Yes Yes No
Threat protection Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection No Yes No
Windows Exploit Guard enforcement No Yes No
Identity management Self-service password reset for hybrid Azure Active Directory accounts No Yes No
Azure Multi-Factor Authentication, conditional access policies No Yes No
Device & app management Microsoft Intune, Windows AutoPilot, Windows Pro Management No Yes No
Shared computer activation No Yes Yes
Upgrade rights to Windows 10 Pro for Win 7/8.1 Pro licenses No Yes No
Windows Virtual Desktop No Yes No
Information protection Office 365 data loss prevention No Yes Yes
Azure Information Protection Plan 1, BitLocker enforcement No Yes No
On-premises CAL rights ECAL Suite (Exchange, SharePoint, Skype) No No Yes
Compliance Unlimited email archiving3 No Yes Yes

Notes

1 Indicates Office 365 Business Premium has Plan 1 of the functionality and Office 365 E3 has Plan 2.

2 Available in US, UK, Canada.

3 Unlimited archiving when auto-expansion is turned on.

Feature comparison: Office 365 Business Premium and Microsoft 365 plans

Service area Feature Office 365 Business Premium Microsoft 365 Business Microsoft 365 E3 Microsoft 365 E5
Licenses available Maximum number of users 300 300 Unlimited Unlimited
Office apps Install Office on up to 5 PCs/Macs + 5 tablets + 5 smartphones per user (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Access), Office Online Business Business ProPlus ProPlus
Email & calendar Outlook, Exchange Online 50 GB 50 GB unlimited unlimited
Hub for teamwork Chat-based workspace, online meetings, and more in Microsoft Teams Yes Yes Yes Yes
File storage OneDrive for Business 1 TB per user 1 TB per user unlimited unlimited
Social, video, sites Yammer, SharePoint Online, Planner Yes Yes Yes Yes
Stream Yes Yes Yes
Business apps Scheduling apps – Bookings1 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Business apps – MileIQ1 Yes Yes No No
Threat protection Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics, Device Guard, Credential Guard, AppLocker, Enterprise Data Protection No No Yes Yes
Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection No Yes No Yes
Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection No No No Yes
Office 365 Threat Intelligence No No No Yes
Identity management Self-service password reset for hybrid Azure Active Directory accounts, Azure MFA, Conditional Access No Yes Yes Yes
Azure AD: Cloud App Discovery, Azure AD Connect Health, SSO for more than 10 apps No No Yes Yes
Azure Active Directory Plan 2 No No No Yes
Device & app management Microsoft Intune, Windows AutoPilot No Yes Yes Yes
Shared computer activation, Windows Virtual Desktop No Yes Yes Yes
Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack, VDA No No Yes Yes
Information protection Office 365 data loss prevention, Azure Information Protection Plan 1 No Yes Yes Yes
Azure Information Protection Plan 2, Microsoft Cloud App Security, Office 365 Cloud App Security No No No Yes
On-premises CAL rights ECAL Suite (Exchange, SharePoint, Skype, Windows, SCCM, Windows Rights Management) No No Yes Yes
Compliance Unlimited email archiving2 No Yes Yes Yes
Advanced eDiscovery, Customer Lockbox, Advanced Data Governance No No No Yes
Analytics Power BI Pro, MyAnalytics No No No Yes
Insights by MyAnalytics Yes Yes Yes Yes
Assistance Briefing email Yes Yes Yes Yes
Voice PSTN conferencing, Cloud PBX No No No Yes

Notes

1 Available in US, UK, Canada.

2 Unlimited archiving when auto-expansion is turned on.

Office client commercial plans

Applications Office 365 Business Office 365 ProPlus
Word Yes Yes
Excel Yes Yes
PowerPoint Yes Yes
OneNote Yes Yes
Outlook Yes Yes
Publisher Yes Yes
Access Yes Yes
Microsoft Teams Yes Yes
Premium value Office 365 Business Office 365 ProPlus
Volume activation No No
Group policy1 No Yes
Shared computer activation Yes7 Yes
App telemetry No Yes
Update controls2 No Yes
Apply personal retention policies3 Yes Yes5
Access site mailboxes3 Yes Yes5
Access in-place archive folder3,4 Yes Yes5
Spreadsheet compare & inquire No Yes5
Business intelligence No Yes5
Create IRM3 Yes7 Yes
Data loss prevention3 Yes7 Yes5
Cloud value Office 365 Business Office 365 ProPlus
Groups Yes Yes
Office Deployment Tool Yes Yes
Roaming documents & settings Yes Yes
1 TB OneDrive for Business Yes Yes
Licensing Office 365 Business Office 365 ProPlus
Licensing model Per user Per user
License type Subscription Subscription
PC/Mac installs6 5 5
iOS/Android smartphone installs6 5 5
Tablet installs6 5 5
Office RT commercial rights Yes Yes
Office Online/web apps Yes Yes
Commercial use rights Yes Yes

Notes

Microsoft 365 Business includes the Office 365 Business client, which has some differences from Pro Plus.

1 Allows the organization to push certain configuration settings (security settings, app settings, Active Directory roaming, and so on) for Office to machines logging on to the corporate network.

2 With Office Standard 2016 and Office Professional Plus 2016, IT has full control of updates using the MSI model. With Office 365 ProPlus and Office 365 Business , installation and updates are managed via Click-to-Run.

3 The suites provide different levels of integration with business productivity servers.

4 Archive email from Outlook—no .pst files needed—and set retention policies that automatically archive or delete email. IT admins can centrally manage the In-Place Archive.

5 Requires additional online service(s).

6 Permits local installation via click-to-run of the licensed Office 365 apps included with the service. Does not include rights to install Office 2016 on-premises versions. Office supports PCs and Windows tablets running Windows 7 or higher, and Macs running MAC OS X 10.6 or higher. Office for iPad can be installed on iPads running version 7 or higher.

7 This premium feature is included in Microsoft 365 Business, but not in other Office 365 Business offerings.