Compare Microsoft Office 365 Business Plans: Apps, Features and Pricing

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Microsoft 365 for Business (previously known as Office 365 for Business) is a cloud productivity subscription-based service geared towards small to medium-sized businesses. With a Microsoft 365 for Business subscription, your organization gets access to the most up-to-date Office applications as well as Microsoft’s flagship collaborative online services.

This blog post covers the pricing, applications, and features that come with Microsoft Office 365 subscription plans for businesses. The comparison tables below can help you choose the right plan for your organization.

Before we start
Microsoft 365 does not include a built-in backup solution. That’s why you should back up your Microsoft 365 data on a regular basis with a third-party solution like NAKIVO Backup & Replication to ensure that your critical data is accessible and recoverable at any time. Keep your Microsoft 365 data safe by deploying the Free Edition of NAKIVO Backup & Replication now.

Microsoft Office 365 Plans for Business Overview

Microsoft Office 365 for Business is a complete solution that brings together the best-in-class productivity of Office 365, advanced security, and device management tools. Within your organization, you and your co-workers can be more productive and work better together with Office apps, email, cloud storage, and a hub for teamwork. Microsoft Office 365 plans for business come with building tools that let you manage access to your data, keep sensitive data safe, and keep your business compliant and protected against most (but not all) security threats.

Microsoft currently offers four business plans to choose from, depending on an organization’s needs. The Microsoft 365 plans for businesses are:

  • Microsoft 365 Business Basic
  • Microsoft 365 Apps for Business
  • Microsoft 365 Business Standard
  • Microsoft 365 Business Premium

Note that all Microsoft 365 plans for business have a limit of 300 users per license. If your organization requires more users, you may want to consider subscribing to a Microsoft Office 365 enterprise plan.

Now, let’s take a closer look at each of the Microsoft 365 plans for businesses and see what they have to offer in terms of features and pricing.

Microsoft 365 Business Basic

For a subscription fee of $5.00 per user/month, Microsoft 365 Business Basic (formerly known as Office 365 Business Essentials) offers web and mobile versions only of Office apps. These apps include Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, and OneNote. This entry-level plan also gives your organization access to collaborative services like Exchange Online with 50 GB of mailbox storage, SharePoint Online, Yammer, Skype for Business Online, and Microsoft Teams. Also included with this subscription is 1 TB of OneDrive cloud storage per user.

This Microsoft Office 365 plan is ideal for small and medium-sized businesses that want to unlock the benefits of cloud integration and remote work using the Office for the web suite and online communication services.

Microsoft 365 Apps for Business

For a subscription fee of $8.25 per user/month, Microsoft 365 Apps for Business (formerly known as Office 365 Business) gives your organization access to the most up-to-date desktop versions of Office applications. These include Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneDrive, Access, and Publisher. The Office suite in this plan can be installed on up to 5 devices per user. None of the collaborative tools and services are available in this plan but the 1 TB of OneDrive cloud storage per user feature and the Office for the web suite are still present.

Microsoft 365 Apps for Business provides both cloud-based and on-premises Office suites to deliver the right set of capabilities to your organization. This plan is ideal for organizations whose computing workload heavily revolves around Office applications.

Microsoft 365 Business Standard

Priced at $12.50 per user/month, the Microsoft 365 Business Standard plan  (formerly known as Office 365 Business Premium) combines in one package the features available in both Business Basic and Apps for Business plans. In addition to the cloud-based and on-premises Office suites, Microsoft 365 Business Standard includes a complete set of collaborative tools thus making this Microsoft Office 365 plan ideal for organizations looking to expand their remote work capabilities.

Microsoft 365 Business Premium

Priced at $20.00 per user/month, Microsoft 365 Business Premium (formerly known as Microsoft 365 Business) includes all the features available in the lower Business tiers in addition to an advanced security infrastructure and device management tools. The Business Premium plan is ideal for organizations that require a comprehensive remote work solution with cyber threat protection and a powerful mobile management system.

Microsoft Office 365 Comparison of Plans

Here is a comparison of pricing and available apps and collaboration services between all four Microsoft 365 plans for business:

Microsoft 365 Business Basic Microsoft 365 Apps for Business Microsoft 365 Business Standard Microsoft 365 Business Premium
Price (Annual subscription) $ 5.00 per user/month $ 8.25 per user/month $ 12.50 per user/month $ 20.00 per user/month
Price (Monthly commitment) $ 6.00 per user/month $ 10.00 per user/month $ 15.00 user/month
Desktop Office Apps Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook, Publisher (PC Only) Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook, Publisher (PC Only) Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook, Access (PC Only), Publisher (PC Only)
Office for the web & Office apps on mobile devices Word, Excel, Powerpoint, OneNote Word, Excel, Powerpoint, OneNote Word, Excel, Powerpoint, OneNote Word, Excel, Powerpoint, OneNote
Collaborative services & management tools Exchange Online (50 GB of mailbox storage), Sharepoint Online, Teams, Skype for Business Online, Yammer Enterprise, Kaizala,  OneDrive (1 TB of cloud storage) OneDrive ( 1TB of cloud storage) Exchange Online (50GB of mailbox storage), Sharepoint Online, Teams, Skype for Business Online, Yammer Enterprise, Kaizala, OneDrive (1 TB of cloud storage) Exchange Online (50 GB of mailbox storage), Sharepoint Online, Teams, OneDrive (1 TB of cloud storage), Skype for Business Online, Yammer Enterprise, Kaizala, Intune, Azure Information Protection.

Microsoft 365 suite apps comparison

Along with the traditional Office applications and online collaborative services, Microsoft 365 plans for businesses include applications used for knowledge, insights, content, project and task management, automation, and app building.

Microsoft 365 Business Basic Microsoft 365 Apps for Business Microsoft 365 Business Standard Microsoft 365 Business Premium
Microsoft Bookings
Microsoft Forms
Microsoft Power Automate
Microsoft Briefing email
Microsoft MyAnalytics
Microsoft Graph API
Microsoft Planner
Microsoft PowerApps
Microsoft Project for the web
Microsoft StaffHub
Microsoft Stream
Microsoft Sway
Microsoft Teams
Microsoft 365 Groups
Microsoft Search
Microsoft Delve

Business plans security and management options

As stated before, when it comes to advanced security options and management tools, Microsoft 365 Business Premium is the most feature-packed plan. The other Microsoft 365 plans do include basic security tools, but they pale in comparison to the Business plan’s features, as shown below:

Microsoft 365 Business Basic Microsoft 365 Apps for Business Microsoft 365 Business Standard Microsoft 365 Business Premium
Microsoft Defender for Office 365
Microsoft Defender for Cloud Apps Discovery
Office 365 Data Loss Prevention
Windows Information Protection
Exchange Archiving
Multi Factor Authentication
Conditional Access
User Provisioning
Microsoft Endpoint Manager
Mobile Device Management
Mobile application management
Shared computer activation for Microsoft 365 Apps

Despite the advanced security features available in Microsoft 365 Business Premium, third-party Office 365 backup solutions is necessary to ensure that your SaaS data is safe and recoverable.

Your Microsoft 365 data can be compromised by human error or malicious cyber threats like ransomware. Files can be deleted or encrypted even when stored in the cloud. To keep your data safe, NAKIVO Backup & Replication offers full backup and recovery functionality for Exchange Online, OneDrives for Business, and SharePoint Online.

For more information about how to protect your Microsoft 365 data, watch NAKIVO’s detailed webinar on the topic.

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