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M365 plans comparison - overview, differences

There is a logical explanation about the scope and functionality of Microsoft 365 plans. How Microsoft 365 plans differ from each other, see the drawings and explanations.

Author: created on 2022-03-12



Microsoft 365 overview

Office 365 vs Businesss vs Enterprise plans comparison
Drawing: Sylbek 2022


Microsoft 365 plans - Logic

There is a logical structure for the scope and functionality of Microsoft 365 plans. This blog article intends to illustrate this logic through drawings.

Please note:
  • Microsoft 365 tariffs are called plans
  • On the drawings and accordingly on this page have been used abbreviations, as M365 for Microsoft 365 and E as for E1, E3, E5 für Enterprise
  • Business plans are for companies up to 300 employees, while Enterprise plans are for larger companies
  • There are 4 basic plans, or simplified only 2, as approximately is valid,
    M365 Apps for Business ≈ M365 Apps for Enterprise
    M365 Business Basic ≈ Office 365 E1

M365 Apps for Business and Enterprise

Office 365 web apps can be easily accessed through the browser when you are connected to the Internet. Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneDrive are components of web apps.

Desktop apps can be installed locally on the desktop and include web apps plus Publisher and Access. Microsoft 365 Apps for Business and Apps for Enterprise practically only include desktop apps (thus also web apps), see drawing 1.

Web Apps and M365 Business Basic prices

Drawing 1: What is included in web and desktop apps?


M365 Business Basic and Office 365 E1

M365 Business Basic is a base plan that is included in all higher Business plans. Likewise, Office 365 E1 is included in all higher Enterprise plans.

As seen in drawing 2, both plans consist of Web apps (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneDrive) plus SharePoint Teams and Exchange.

SharePoint, OneDrive, Teams, Exchange and Office 365 E1 prices

Drawing 2: M365 Business Basic ≈ Office 365 E1


Microsoft 365 Business plans comparison

Best priced plan, M365 Business Basic includes Office 365 Web Apps (Outlook, Word, Excel PowerPoint and OneDrive) plus SharePoint, Teams and Exchange.

M365 Apps for Business allows Office 365 desktop apps (web apps plus Publisher and Access) to be installed on the desktop.

M365 Business Standard includes all the features of these two plans, as shown in drawing 3.

M365 Business Premium includes everything from M365 Business Standard plus Microsoft Intune, Azure Virtual Desktop, Defender for Office 365 and Defender for Business.

M365 Business Basic vs Standard vs Premium and prices

Drawing 3: How do Microsoft 365 Business plans differ from each other?


Office 365 Enterprise plans comparison

Enterprise plans are for larger companies, with no limit on the number of users.
Cheapest plan, Office 365 E1 includes Office 365 Web Apps plus SharePoint, Teams and Exchange.
M365 Apps for Enterprise allows desktop apps to be installed on the desktop.

Office 365 E3 includes the features of Office 365 E1 and M365 Apps for Enterprise plus bigger OneDrive storage (5TB), Exchange Archiving, and Flow for Office 365 P2, see drawing 4.

Office 365 E1 vs E3 vs E5 and prices

Drawing 4: How do Office 365 Enterprise plans differ from each other?


Office 365 E5 includes the features of Office 365 E3 plus Cloud App Security, Microsoft Phone Systems and Defender for Office 365.

Microsoft 365 Enterprise plans comparison

To understand the scope of Microsoft 365 Enterprise plans, we need to look at the Office 365 plans on drawing 4 beforehand.

Microsoft 365 E3 includes all the features of Office 365 E3, Mobility + Security E3, Windows 10/11 E3, Defender for Endpoint P1, etc.
Mobility + Security E3 consists of other components including Microsoft Intune, Azure Active Directory P1, Cloud app security.

Microsoft 365 E5 includes all the features of Microsoft 365 E3 plus Office 365 E5, Mobility + Security E5, Windows 10/11 E5, Defender for Endpoint P2, etc.

Microsoft 365 E3 vs E5 and prices

Drawing 5: How do Microsoft 365 Enterprise plans differ from each other?


Microsoft 365 E5 includes other products such as Microsoft 365 E5 Security, Microsoft 365 E5 Compliance and all products from upper Drawings.

For more information regarding comparison of Microsoft 365 Enterprise plans, see the PDF table Microsoft Plan Comparison - Enterprise.





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