Microsoft 365 vs Office 365

Microsoft 365 was released in Aug 2017 as an bundle that combines the well known Office 365 with Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS) features. Microsoft 365 comes in two flavors, Business or Enterprise and with 4 different plans between the two. But what is Microsoft 365 now exactly? What do you get for you money and how does Microsoft 365 compare to Office 365?

Office 365 and Windows 10 we can understand, but there is so much more you get (or not) with Microsoft 365. What are the benefits, why would you go for M365? In this article I will explain what the differences are and compare it against Office 365.

What is Microsoft 365?

Before we start comparing the two, lets first start with explaining what Microsoft 365 is. Basically, it’s a bundle with a couple of Microsoft Products. What is included depends on the version and plan you choose, but in short the following products are included:

  • Office 365 (Business Premium or Enterprise F1, E3 or E5)
  • Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection (E5 only)
  • Microsoft Intune
  • Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics
  • Identity and Threat Protection
  • Information Protection and Compliance
  • Azure Active Directory
  • Azure Information Protection
  • Azure Advanced Threat Protection
  • Windows 10 Pro Upgrade or Windows 10 Enterprise

So as you can see Microsoft 365 is a bit more than only Windows 10 and Office 365 combined. Another advantage is that you can manage all your devices and security settings from the cloud with the Microsoft 365 Admin Center.

Microsoft 365 Admin Center

Office 365 in Microsoft 365

Microsoft 365 is available in different plans, but to make it us easy they are named in the same way as Office 365. The following plans for companies are available:

  • Microsoft 365 Business
  • Microsoft 365 Enterprise F1
  • Microsoft 365 Enterprise E3
  • Microsoft 365 Enterprise E5

Microsoft 365 Business includes Office 365 Business Premium. The Enterprise plans contain their Office 365 counterpart. So with Microsoft Enterprise E3 you get exactly the same apps and services as with Office 365 Enterprise E3 (with the addition of Windows 10 Enterprise and the security products of course)

So the Office part is easy, not much to compare there. But what about all the security features and Windows 10?

Windows 10 in Microsoft 365

A simple difference between Microsoft 365 and Office 365 is the Windows 10 license. With Microsoft 365 you get a Windows 10 Pro upgrade or Windows 10 Enterprise (E3 or E5) license.

Microsoft 365 Business

With the Business plan, you get only an upgrade license for Win 10 Pro. This simply means you must have a valid Windows 7 or 8 license from which you can upgrade. In my opinion, not a real added value compared to Office 365.

Windows 10 was released in 2015, so almost every computer has already a valid Windows 10 Pro OEM license. If you are still running Windows 7 then your hardware is probably due to replaced soon. So the Windows 10 Pro upgrade license is not a real added value.

Microsoft 365 Enterprise

For the Enterprise plans, it’s more interesting when it comes to Windows 10. With the M365 Enterprise F1 or E3 plan, you will get a Windows 10 Enterprise E3 license. (F1 is limited to local only). The E5 plan gets, of course, a Windows 10 Enterprise E5 license.

The features you get are the same, so what makes it interesting is the price. Now Microsoft 365 Enterprise prices are not list prices. You will have to contact a Microsoft Partner to get a quote, but there is an estimate of the cost.

In general Microsoft 365, E3 will cost you around the $ 32 per user per month. The E5 version will be around $ 57.50 per user per month. If we look at the normal Windows 10 Enterprise plans and combine them with a separated Office 365 plan you will get the following result:

Microsoft 365 E3

Office 365 E3
$20
Windows 10 E3
$7 +
Total
$27
Microsoft 365 E3 $32

Microsoft 365 E5

Office 365 E5
$35
Windows 10 E5 $14 +
Total
$49
Microsoft 365 E5 $57

Keep in mind that we haven’t taken a look at the Device Management and Security products yet. This is only Office 365 and Windows 10.

Device and Application Management with Microsoft 365

Device and Application Management, one of the tools to protect and secure your organisation’s resources and data. This is what Microsoft 365 is all about. Giving you the tools in one environment to keep the data save.

With Office 365 alone you have some options to manage and protect your data. We can wipe mobile devices when they are lost with Exchange Online, create content policy rules and Data Loss Prevention policies in the Security and Compliance center, but we can’t manage the device it self.

Mobile device management

With Microsoft 365 you get Microsoft Intune to manage mobile devices. Intune allows us to control to control multiple factors of the mobile devices and business apps on it. You can set device policies (prevent rooted phones, require a password or pincode etc) and application policies (Intune Application Protection Policy (APP)).

Using APP you don’t need to control the device it self. You can simple apply the policy to the application itself, for example Outlook. When an users is using Outlook we could for example require a pincode to access the corporate data, check if the device is not jail broken or prevent them from copy corporate data to other apps (personal mail for example)

Also, the Selective Wipe is a welcome option when your users are using their own devices (BYOD). You can just remove the managed apps and data while keeping the personal data intact.

Managing Windows devices

Not only mobile devices can be managed with M365, you also manage and even deploy your Windows 10 devices. Don’t expect a full SCCM replacement, you can’t install tirth parity apps with it. But what you can do is pre-configure Windows 10 and make sure the required Office applications are installed and kept up-to-date.

But it doesn’t stop there, you can also configure your Windows Defender, update management and firewall policies with Microsoft 365.

Advanced Security Features

Keeping your data save is one part managing your devices (keeping them up to data and compliant) and on the other hand protecting actually your data. Microsoft 365 gives you access to multiple tools to help protect your data.

Azure Information Protection is one of these tools. It is designed to protect your data at all times. Based on classifications and protection information it will protect your data no matter where it’s stored. Pretty much in the same way as you can do with most PDF files. You can prevent printing, sharing, editing or copying of those files.

With Azure Information Protection you can put similar security rules on your files. Not every file type is supported (mainly Office files, images and pdf, check here for more details), but the most important files are of course.

Other features that are included in Microsoft 365 are Windows Hello, Device Guard and Credential Guard. These features are aimed to strengthen the security of your devices by using virtualization-based security features to isolate your secrets and Configurable code integrity policies to protect your devices against unwanted app or code.

Price

So I have given your an overview of the most important features and the differences between them in Office 365 and Microsoft 365. But how does all translate to price per user? Prices for Microsoft 365 Enterprise are not listed, you will need to contact a Microsoft Partner to get exact user prices.

But I can give you an estimate based on prices other IT Pro’s got from Microsoft. If you have new prices or examples, just drop a comment below and I will update the article if necessary.

Price built-up of Microsoft 365 E3

We can compare the Microsoft 365 bundle with three separate Microsoft products. As mentioned in the beginning, M365 is a bundle of Office 365, Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility and Security. If you buy those products separate you will get the following result:

 Office 365 E3 + Win 10 Enterprise E3 + EMS E3Microsoft 365 Enterprise E3
Office 365 Enterprise E3 $20
included
Windows 10 Enterprise E3
$7
included
EMS E3
$ 9
included
Total per user / per month$ 36
$ 32

Price built-up of Microsoft 365 E5

For the E5 plans we will get a similar result. The savings per user per month is a little bit bigger compared to the E3 plan. Even if you can do with Windows 10 E3, it is still cheaper to go for the Microsoft 365 E5.

 Office 365 E5 + Win 10 Enterprise E5 + EMS E5Microsoft 365 Enterprise E5
Office 365 Enterprise E5 $35
included
Windows 10 Enterprise E5
$14
included
EMS E5
$ 15
included
Total per user / per month$ 64
$ 57 *

Conclusion

This is the first article about Microsoft 365 vs Office 365. In the coming weeks, I will review and compare the different plans to help you select the right product for your organisation.

If you need Windows 10 Enterprise and you want to buy Office 365 then I really recommend spending the few extra dollars and go for Microsoft 365. The addition of EMS, the ability to centrally manage your whole environment is definitely worth the few dollars extra per user per month.

But if you don’t need Windows 10 Enterprise, then buying the Office 365 and EMS separately makes much more sense.

Comparison Table Microsoft 365 vs Office 365

Below you will find a comparison chart for the E3 plans. I have built it up the same way as to Office 365 plans so you can easily compare it. You can also download the PDF version of the comparison here: Microsoft 365 vs Office 365 PDF version

 Office 365Microsoft 365
  Enterprise E3Enterprise E3
Core Details   
Price user/month (annual commitment)  $ 20.00 $ 32.00
Seat Cap UnlimitedUnlimited
24/7 Phone support All issuesAll issues
Office   
Desktop version of Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, OneNote, Publisher 
Web version of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote 
Office apps on tablets and phones 
Access 
    
Standard Services   
Unlimited cloud storage (OneDrive for Business) 
Email, Calendar (Exchange) 
Online meetings, IM (Skype for Business) 
Communication and team sites (SharePoint) 
Team hub (Teams) 
Enterprise Social (Yammer) 
Content discovery and search (Delve) 
Manage tasks and teamworks (Planner) 
Manage your business better (Invoicing, Bookings, MileIQ, Business center)  
Manage customers (Connections, Listings, Outlook Customer Manager)  
    
Advanced Services   
Active Directory integration 
Mobile Device Management (MDM) for Office 365 
Licensed for hybrid deployment 
Support for shared computer activation 
Video content management 
Compliance – Archiving, eDiscovery, hold 
Windows Information protection – message encryption, RMS, DLP 
    
Device Management   
Azure Active Direcory Plan 1  
Microsoft Intune  
Fine Tuned User Experience  
Windows Analitycs Health  
Windows Autopilot  
    
Advanced Security Features   
Azure Information Protection Plan 1  
Device Guard  
Credential Guard  
Credential Guard  
Direct Access  
Windows Defender Antivirus  
Windows Hello  
Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics  
    
More Info  More Info
& Prices
More Info
& Prices

* Microsoft Enterprise E3 and E5 prices are based on quotes other IT Pro’s got from Microsoft Reps. The prices may vary depending on your seat size and county. Use these prices as an indication.

Take also a look at these comparison if you are more interested in Office 365:

Sources used:

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