Microsoft 365 Business Premium vs Enterprise E3

Is Microsoft 365 Enterprise E3 worth the extra money or can you settle with Microsoft 365 Business Premium? With a price difference of $12 per user per month is it worth taking a closer look at the differences between the two.

The Microsoft 365 bundles are known for combining the best of Microsoft for an attractive price. But the different plans make it a puzzle to find the best plan for your organization. In this article, I will explain the major differences between Microsoft 365 Business Premium vs Microsoft 365 Enterprise E3 to help you pick the best plan for your organization.

Important note!

This article is about Microsoft 365 Business Premium and Microsoft 365 Enterprise E3. NOT Office 365 E3.

You can find the comparison between Business Premium and Office 365 E3 here

The basics

First, if you want to know more about Microsoft 365 and how it compares to Office 365 you should read this article.

So let’s talk about Microsoft 365 Business Premium vs Enterprise. The basic difference between the two is on the Office and Windows front and the user count. With both, you get all the Office apps for both desktops and online. Nothing special here.

Then Windows 10, with Microsoft 365 Business Premium you get an upgrade license for Windows 10 Pro. So that means you will need to have a valid Windows 7 or 8 license to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro. Now keep in mind that every new computer you buy these days already has a Windows 10 pro license.

With the Microsoft 365 Enterprise plans, you get an upgrade license for Windows 10 Enterprise E3 or E5.

The Microsoft 365 Business Premium plan is limited to 300 users whereas the enterprise plans are unlimited. A great tip is that if Business Premium is sufficient for your organization you can actually buy 300 Business Premium licenses and extend it with Enterprise E3 licenses if you need more.

Microsoft 365 Business vs Enterprise

Standard Services (Onedrive, SharePoint and Exchange)

Just like with Office 365 Business and Enterprise there are some differences in the standard services. The Business Premium plan comes with some extra apps especially for small Businesses (Invoicing, Bookings, Outlook Customer Manager, etc).

But there is also some difference between the Onedrive, Sharepoint, and Exchange plans.


With Microsoft 365 Enterprise you get a Onedrive Plan 2. This includes all benefits from Onedrive Plan 1 of course, but the big difference here is that you get unlimited storage instead of 1Tb. It also offers advanced data-loss prevention and In-place hold to preserve documents.


The same goes for SharePoint plan 2, which is included in the Enterprise plan. It comes with In-place hold, advanced DLP features, and enhanced search features. Not really big deal makers, but I have to say, In-place hold is really useful if your organization is involved in a lot of legal cases or has to provide warranty or support on projects over many years.


The difference with Exchange is in line with the other two. With Plan 2 you get more store (100Gb mailbox + unlimited In-place archive), advanced DLP features, and in-place hold.

Threat Protection

We will find the most differences when it comes to threat protection. Microsoft 365 Enterprise is focused on the manageability of your devices and keeping control of your data. Microsoft 365 Business Premium comes only with the Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection (ATP), where the Microsoft 365 Enterprise E3 plans have a lot more to offer:

  • Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics (ATA)
  • Device Guard
  • Credential Guard
  • App Locker
  • Enterprise Data Protection
  • Azure Active Directory – Conditional Access


Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection is a cloud-based email filtering service. It basically scans your email and detects unknown malware, viruses, or harmful links. It comes with advanced reports and URL tracing to give us insight into the attacks that are coming in through email.

ATA, Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics, is the more advanced protection platform. It is capable of detecting targeted cyber-attacks. It basically scans all your network traffic for information gathering to find abnormal behavior, malicious attacks, and security risks. If you want to know more about ATA, you should take a look at these services descriptions.

On-Premise CAL Rights

One other big difference and for some really important is the on-premise CAL rights. With the Microsoft 365 Enterprise plans, you get the ECAL Suite. This gives you the access rights to run the following servers locally:

  • Exchange
  • SharePoint
  • Skype
  • Windows
  • SCCM
  • Windows Rights Management


Microsoft 365 Enterprise (E3) costs $12.- per user per month more than the Business Premium plan. In my opinion, the real value is in the additional security features that you get. Keeping your data safe is a never-ending task. We always need to upgrade our security measures to keep viruses (ransomware) out and protect our network against targeted attacks.

Microsoft 365 Enterprise gives you the tools to do this. And an important part of securing your network is keeping it up to date. So I think it’s worth the extra $ 12,- if you have the budget for it.

Comparison chart Microsoft 365 Business Premium vs Enterprise

  Microsoft 365 Business Premium Microsoft 365 Enterprise E3
  Starting at
$20.00 user/month
Starting at
$32.00 user/month
Included items More info More info
Core Details
Price user/month (annual commitment) $20.00 $32.00
Seat Cap 300 Unlimited
Office Apps
Install Office on 5 Devices
Office Online
Excel Power Query and Power Pivot  
Use Office on Remote Desktop
Standard Services
Onedrive Storage 1 TB Unlimited
Exchange Plan 1 Plan 2
Exchange Online Mailbox storage 50GB 100GB
Exchange Online Archive Storage 50GB Unlimited
SharePoint Plan 1 Plan 2
Business Apps
Stream Plan 1
Outlook Customer Manager
Microsoft Listings
Microsoft Bookings
Microsoft Invoicing
Insights by MyAnalytics
MyAnalytics (Full)
Advanced Services
Active Directory Intergration
Azure Rights Management
Mobile Device Management for Office 365
Licensed for hybrid deployment
Support for shared computer activation
Compliance – In-place hold, Data-loss prevention, in-place archive
More info More info
Buy Buy


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12 thoughts on “Microsoft 365 Business Premium vs Enterprise E3”

  1. You should change the list. it’s not up-to-date anymore.

    Support for shared computer activation is now supported for Business premium

    • You don’t get Intune with either plan, but do get Mobile Device Management for Office 365. This offers only some basic capabilities when it comes to MDM, like Remote Wipe en Security Policies.

  2. This was extremely helpful. We are trying to decide between these two options now.
    I noticed in the ATA vs ATP section the second paragraph is probably supposed to start with ATA rather than ATP:

    ATP, Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics……

    Since this is something I was focusing on in my comparison I had to read it a few times to figure out why it wasn’t quite making sense.

  3. Shared computer Activation is now enabled on Microsoft 365.
    And probably worth noting it includes conditional access now as well.
    Both pretty huge additions.

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