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Choosing the right Office 365 subscription can feel like navigating a maze with all the options available.

Whether you’re a small business, non-profit, or a large enterprise, there’s an Office 365 plan designed to meet your needs.

Let’s break down the differences between various plans in a way that’s easy to understand, helping you make an informed decision on which plan best fits your business requirements.

1. Exchange Online Plans

Exchange Online Plan 1

**What’s Included**: This plan is ideal for businesses that need email hosting with a 50 GB mailbox per user and the ability to attach files up to 150 MB. It includes calendar services, contacts, tasks, and support for custom email domains.

**What’s Not Included**: Does not include the desktop versions of the Office applications. Also, it lacks advanced security features and compliance capabilities.0

Exchange Online Plan 2

**What’s Included**: Includes all features of Plan 1 but with unlimited storage for your email and a 100 GB mailbox. It also adds hosted voicemail and advanced security and compliance features, such as data loss prevention and retention policies.

**What’s Not Included**: Still does not include desktop versions of Office apps.

2. Office 365 Apps for Business

**What’s Included**: This plan is perfect for businesses that need access to the Office applications plus cloud file storage and sharing on PC, Mac, or mobile. It includes desktop versions of Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote (plus Access and Publisher for PC only).

**Cloud Services**: Includes OneDrive with 1 TB of cloud storage.

**What’s Not Included**: Does not include business email or any of the online services like Teams, Yammer, or SharePoint.

3. Office 365 Business Standard

**What’s Included**: Combines the Office apps with online services for email and collaboration. It includes business email, and other services like Teams, SharePoint, and 1 TB of OneDrive storage. It also includes web and mobile versions of the apps.

**Suitable For**: Businesses that need full remote work and collaboration tools.

**What’s Not Included**: Lacks advanced security features and device management.

4. Office 365 Business Premium

**What’s Included**: This is an advanced plan that includes everything in Business Standard plus advanced cyber threat protection and device management.

**Advanced Features**: Includes Intune for device management and Defender for Endpoint for advanced cybersecurity protection.

**What’s Not Included**: Does not have the robust analytics and compliance tools found in the enterprise plans.

5. Enterprise Plans

Office 365 E1

**What’s Included**: Offers services only (no desktop apps), including email, file storage and sharing, meetings, and instant messaging. Includes access to web versions of Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

**Ideal For**: Larger organizations that need basic online services and already have Office apps licenses or do not require desktop apps.

Office 365 E3

**What’s Included**: All the features of E1 plus desktop apps, along with increased security features, compliance tools, and information protection like legal hold and data loss prevention.

**Cloud Storage**: Unlimited OneDrive storage.

**Suitable For**: Organizations that need a complete suite of services including desktop applications and advanced compliance, security, and information protection features.

Office 365 E5

**What’s Included**: Includes everything in E3 plus enhanced analytics with Power BI, advanced compliance solutions, and more comprehensive security features like advanced threat protection and advanced compliance.

**Advanced Communication**: Includes advanced calling features like Phone System, Audio Conferencing.

**Best For**: Large enterprises requiring the most robust set of productivity, collaboration, analytics, security, and compliance tools.

Choosing the Right Plan

**Consider Your Size and Needs**: Smaller businesses might find everything they need in the Business Premium plan, while larger organizations might look to the E3 or E5 plans for more advanced needs.

**Evaluate Your IT Infrastructure**: Understand what you currently have and what’s missing. For instance, if you need robust email capabilities without desktop apps, Exchange Online Plan 2 might be enough.

**Think About Future Growth**: Choose a plan not just for what your business needs now but what it will need in the future.


Office 365 offers a variety of plans to ensure businesses of all sizes and needs can find what works best for them.

Understanding the specific offerings and limitations of each plan is crucial in making an informed decision.

With the right Office 365 plan, you can enhance productivity, improve collaboration, and protect your business data with advanced security measures.


Here’s a simplified breakdown of the key features across different Office 365 plans:

Compare M365
– ✓ = Included
– (Details) = Specific features or limitations
– $ to $$$$$$ = Relative cost from lower to higher

Contact us if you need help implementing Microsoft 365 into your digital toolbox.