Microsoft 365 buying guide for your business


Microsoft Office has been around for many years now. It has been providing tools for word processing, emails, presentations, spreadsheets, etc., which have become the core components of any office worker’s or private user’s life. The established and widely known suite of office tools, Microsoft 365 is perfect for beginners as well as experienced users. With all the features that are included in this program, it’s difficult to find another one with its capabilities. But on the other hand, Microsoft has launched various versions for mobile devices and desktops which makes it quite difficult for users to compare all the offerings and choose a package that’s right for them. 

Let’s take a look at some of the main differences between each plan, as well as free alternatives for installation and use via your browser. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about how to pick the right Microsoft 365 version for your business.

Microsoft 365: All you need to know

Source: Pexels

Why do you need Microsoft 365?

Microsoft 365 comes with a lot of benefits for productivity and collaboration. Whether you’re looking to save time and money on your business or just need some help getting things done, these plans will be able to make life easier for everything. Here are some of their benefits:

Enhanced Productivity It provides a list of productivity and collaboration tools, including:   Microsoft TeamsOne Drive for BusinessSharePointOutlook EmailWord, Excel, PowerPointYammerAnd more.
Flexibility Cloud subscriptions allow users to access files across a range of devices from any location.
Teamwork and Communications It allows to host online meetings and video calls with Teams, chat to collaborate easily, and to share content or files easily using SharePoint.
Email and Calendar It allows you to host 50 GB mailbox with a custom domain, manage your calendar and meetings from anywhere. You can receive reminders easily on the go.
Reliable Microsoft guarantees a 99.9% uptime for all their services.
Security and Control Five layers of security and monitoring to keep your information safe. You can control who can access it with customizable permissions, password policies, and more.
Privacy Microsoft and ZNetLive are committed to keeping your data safe.
Automatic Updates You’ll get access to all the new features and updates for free with your subscription.
IT Support ZNetLive support team is available 24/7 by phone or online for critical issues.

How do you get Microsoft 365 on your device?

Long ago, the only way to get Microsoft Office was by buying a CD-ROM and then installing it on your device. But these days, laptops don’t even have disk drives anymore. However, most come with pre-installed Microsoft Office that comes as a complimentary product at the time of purchase.

Sadly, many laptop sellers don’t provide genuine licenses to the users, and this can be exploited due to security vulnerabilities. Hence, if you want to use Microsoft 365 specifically, then you should have official software installed with a proper license. This is essential for efficiency and security reasons.

There are mainly two ways you can get Microsoft 365. You can either buy the product outright or sign up for a monthly subscription service with which you can get access every month at no extra cost.

Which Microsoft 365 licensing plan should you buy?

There are several licensing plans available, from business, enterprise, personal, home to student use. We’ll cover every plan here. You can choose the one that best meets your needs.

Microsoft 365: Personal vs Family

Check out the table below to learn about all the important features of these plans:

Feature Microsoft 365 Personal Microsoft 365 Family
Recommended for Individual users only for home/non-commercial use. Best for families or mainstream consumers.
Price Mail to sales@znetlive.com Mail to sales@znetlive.com
One-month trial No Yes
Users 1 Up to 6
Supported Devices For PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, Android phones & tablets For PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, Android phones & tablets
Word, Excel, PowerPoint Premium1 Premium1
Outlook email & calendar Premium1 Premium1
Outlook storage quota 50 GB 50 GB
Cloud Storage 1 TB Up to 6 TB, with 1 TB per person
Skype 60 minutes per month Skype calls for 1 user 60 minutes per month Skype calls to mobiles and landlines
Family safety mobile app Premium
Microsoft Editor Advanced grammar and style Advanced grammar and style
Microsoft Teams premium chat, call and planning app Yes Yes
Security Includes ransomware file recovery and email phishing detection. Includes ransomware file recovery and email phishing detection

Office 365 Education

The educational version of Microsoft 365, called Office 365 Education was created with the needs and wants for students in mind as well as university faculty or staff who work closely together on projects throughout their careers. Check out the table below to learn about all the important features of these plans:

Plan Feature Students Teacher, Faculty, & Staff
Office 365 A1 Recommended for Academic organizations where the student, faculty or staff don’t have access to any Office 365 services. Mainly for infrequent users of Microsoft 365, projects, and secondary accounts in school.
  Price Free (one-time purchase) Free (one-time purchase)
  Apps Included Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote
  Services Included Microsoft Exchange, OneDrive, SharePoint, Teams, Sway, Forms, Stream, Power Automate, Power Apps, School Data Sync, Visio, Yammer Microsoft Exchange, OneDrive, SharePoint, Teams, Sway, Forms, Stream, Power Automate, Power Apps, School Data Sync, Visio, Yammer
  Outlook storage quota 50 GB 50 GB
  Security Rights management, data loss prevention, encryption.
  Users Unlimited
 
Office 365 A3 Recommended for Academic organizations willing to manage the devices of their students, faculty, and staff. Great for users who require audio conferencing for a learning event or meeting or Power BI for analytics.
  Price Mail to sales@znetlive.com Mail to sales@znetlive.com
  Apps Included Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Publisher (PC only), Access (PC only) Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Publisher (PC only), Access (PC only)
  Services Included Exchange, OneDrive, SharePoint, Teams, Sway, Forms, Stream, Power Automate, Power Apps, School Data Sync, Bookings, Visio, Yammer Exchange, OneDrive, SharePoint, Teams (up to 10,000 people), Sway, Forms, Stream, Power Automate, Power Apps, School Data Sync, Bookings, Visio, Yammer
  Outlook storage quota 50 GB 50 GB
  Supported Devices For PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, Android phones & tablets – up to 5 devices per user For PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, Android phones & tablets – up to 5 devices per user
  Security Rights management, data loss prevention, encryption, Office 365 Cloud App Security
  Users Unlimited
  Advanced Personal Analytics Microsoft Viva Insights
 
Office 365 A5 Recommended for Those who need intensive security management, advanced compliance, additional analytics tools, audio and video conferencing.
  Price Mail at sales@znetlive.com Mail at sales@znetlive.com
  Apps Included Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Publisher (PC only), Access (PC only) Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Publisher (PC only), Access (PC only)
  Services Included Exchange, OneDrive, SharePoint, Teams, Sway, Forms, Stream, Power Automate, Power Apps, School Data Sync, Bookings, Power BI, Visio, Yammer Exchange, OneDrive, SharePoint, Teams, Sway, Forms, Stream, Power Automate, Power Apps, School Data Sync, Bookings, Power BI, Visio, Yammer
  Outlook storage quota 50 GB 100 GB
  Supported Devices For PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, Android phones & tablets – up to 5 devices per user For PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, Android phones & tablets – up to 5 devices per user
  Security Rights management, data loss prevention, encryption, Office 365 Cloud App Security
  Users Unlimited
  Advanced Personal Analytics Microsoft Viva Insights and Power BI Pro

Office Home & Student 2021: One-time purchase

The Microsoft Office Home & Student 2021 package is perfect for those who want to save money and not be tied down by a subscription. You give up automatic updates, but you don’t have to worry about paying monthly fees or being tied into a long-term contract every year. Check out the table below to learn about all the important features offered in this plan:

Feature Microsoft Office Home & Student 2021
Recommended for Students and families who want to get classic Office apps1 including Word, Excel and PowerPoint for Windows 11 or 10.
Price Mail at  sales@znetlive.com
One-month trial No
Usage One PC or Mac
Supported Operating Systems Windows 10, Windows 11, macOS
Word, Excel, PowerPoint Classic 2021 version1
Outlook email & calendar
Outlook storage quota
Cloud Storage
Support 60 days free support
Microsoft Teams Yes

Microsoft 365 for Business

Microsoft 365 for Business offers a complete solution that brings together the best-in-class productivity of Microsoft’s widely used office applications, advanced security capabilities and device management tools.

Microsoft offers four different business plans to fit any organization’s needs. They are:

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

Microsoft 365 is the perfect solution for any small sized business that needs some extra features and support. The limit on a single license is 300 users so if your company needs more users, then an enterprise plan may be best suited.

Let’s take a look at the features and pricing of Microsoft 365 plans for businesses.

Feature Microsoft 365 Business Basic Microsoft 365 Apps for Business Microsoft 365 Business Standard Microsoft 365 Business Premium
Recommended for Small businesses who require basic Office apps (online version only) and limited features. Good for infrequent users. Small businesses or freelancers who are already subscribed to an email service and don’t want hybrid capabilities in M365.  Small to mid-sized businesses who require a suite of essential features with the ability to purchase more services via add-ons. Small and mid-sized businesses who require good mail storage, advanced security and data management.
Price 97 INR/user/month 490 INR/user/month 516 INR/user/month 1,230 INR/user/month
One-month trial No No Yes Yes
Payment Terms Per user per month on Annual Billing Per user per month on Annual Billing Per user per month on Annual Billing Per user per month on Annual Billing
License Usage Up to 300 users Up to 300 users Up to 300 users Up to 300 users
Supported Devices For PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, Android phones & tablets For PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, Android phones & tablets For PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, Android phones & tablets For PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, Android phones & tablets
Apps & services included Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Teams, Outlook, Exchange (domain version only), OneDrive, SharePoint (domain version only) Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneDrive, Access (PC only), Publisher (PC only), Outlook Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Teams, Outlook, OneDrive, SharePoint, Exchange, Access (PC only), Publisher (PC Only) Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Teams, Outlook, OneDrive, SharePoint, Exchange, Intune, Azure Information Protection, Access (PC only), Publisher (PC Only)
Outlook storage quota 50 GB 50 GB 50 GB
Cloud Storage 1 TB per person 1 TB per person 1 TB per person 1 TB per person
Security: Exchange Online Protection Yes Yes Yes
Security and privacy controls Over 1000 Over 1000 Over 1000 Over 1000
Allowed to create password policy? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Security: Defender for business Available as add-on Available as add-on Yes
Allowed to use your own custom domain? Yes Yes Yes
Teams Yes Yes Yes
99.9% uptime Yes Yes Yes Yes
Licensed for commercial use Yes Yes Yes Yes
Each user can install the Office apps on up to 5 PCs or Macs? Yes Yes Yes

Microsoft 365 Enterprise

The Microsoft 365 enterprise plan is designed for larger organizations that want to manage their Cloud PCs with the help of tools like Endpoint Manager and integrate it seamlessly into other services such as Azure Active Directory or Defender Antivirus.

Let’s take a look at the features and pricing of Microsoft 365 plans for enterprises.

Feature Microsoft 365 E3 Microsoft 365 E5 without Audio Conferencing Microsoft 365 F3
Recommended for? Medium to large organizations who require data analytics, advanced security, email and calendar management services. Organizations who are looking for the perfect solution that provides complete protection, intelligent data classification, advanced analytics, and complete user monitoring. Smalls businesses or individuals who require Office Online services, basic collaborative and work management tools.
Price 2,200 INR/user/month 3,500 INR/user/month 490 INR/user/month on Annual Billing
Supported Devices For PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, Android phones & tablets For PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, Android phones & tablets For PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, Android phones & tablets
Users 300+ 300+ 300+
Apps & services included (can be used on up to 5 devices) PowerPoint, Word, Excel, OneNote, Publisher (PC only), Access (PC only), SharePoint, Yammer, Viva Connections, OneDrive, Streams, Sway, Lists, Forms, Visio, Planner, Power Apps, Power Automate, Power Virtual Agent, To Do   (desktop & web) PowerPoint, Word, Excel, OneNote, Publisher (PC only), Access (PC only), SharePoint, Yammer, Viva Connections, OneDrive, Streams, Sway, Lists, Forms, Visio, Planner, Power Apps, Power Automate, Power Virtual Agent, To Do     (desktop & web) PowerPoint, Word, Excel, OneNote, Publisher (PC only), Access (PC only), SharePoint, Yammer, Viva Connections, OneDrive, Streams, Sway, Lists, Forms, Visio, Planner, Power Apps, Power Automate, Power Virtual Agent, To Do
(web only)
Email & Calendar 100 GB 100 GB 2 GB
Cloud Storage 1 TB per person 1 TB per person 2 GB per person
Teams Yes (partially available) Yes Yes (partially available)
Security Yes (encryption, threat protection, identity and access management, endpoint and app management) Yes (advanced encryption, threat protection, identity and access management, endpoint and app management, information protection, insider risk management, retention policies) Yes (encryption, threat protection, identity and access management, endpoint and app management)
Advanced Analytics Partially available Yes
99.9% uptime? Yes Yes Yes
Licensed for commercial use Yes Yes Yes

Office 365 Enterprise

Let’s take a look at the features and pricing of Office 365 plans for enterprises.

Feature Office 365 E3 Office 365 E5 without Audio Conferencing Office 365 E1
Recommended for? Medium to large organizations who require data analytics, advanced security, email and calendar management services. Organizations who are looking for the perfect solution that provides complete protection, intelligent data classification, advanced analytics, and complete user monitoring. Smalls businesses or individuals who require Office Online services, basic collaborative and work management tools.
Price 1,285 INR/user/month 2,127 INR/user/month 559 INR/user/month
Supported Devices For PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, Android phones & tablets For PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, Android phones & tablets For PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, Android phones & tablets
Users 300+ 300+ 300+
Apps & services included (can be used on up to 5 devices) Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Outlook, OneNote, Publisher, SharePoint, Yammer, Stream, Power Apps, Forms, To Do, Power Virtual, Power Automate, My Analytics, Teams, Delve, Exchange Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Outlook, OneNote, Publisher, SharePoint, Yammer, Stream, Power Apps, Forms, To Do, Power Virtual, Power Automate, My Analytics, Teams, Delve, Exchange, Power BI Pro Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Outlook, OneNote, Publisher, SharePoint, Yammer, Stream, Power Apps, Forms, To Do, Power Virtual, Power Automate, My Analytics, Teams, Delve, Exchange  
Email & Calendar 100 GB 100 GB 50 GB
Cloud Storage 1-5+ TB per person 1-5+ TB per person 1 TB per person
Teams Yes Yes Yes
Security Yes (device & app management, identity & access management, threat protection, information management, advanced security features) Yes (device & app management, identity & access management, threat protection, information management, advanced security features – Microsoft 365 advanced security features included) Yes (device & app management – Microsoft Graph API only, identity & access management)
Advanced Analytics Partially available (My Analytics) Yes (My Analytics, Power BI Pro) Partially available (My Analytics)
99.9% uptime? Yes Yes Yes
Licensed for commercial use Yes Yes Yes

Conclusion:

So, which M365 plan would be the best for you? It’s hard to say as there are so many options available, and it completely depends on your preference. If you want more information on these options, let us know in the comments below or take a look at Microsoft 365 plans or mail to sales@znetlive.com.

Note:

1. The Classic 2021 version of Microsoft Office 365 will not receive any future updates or new features. However, the Premium 365 plan allows you to upgrade your installed apps whenever an update is released.

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