ra2 studio - Fotolia
Microsoft 365 brings together Windows 10, Office 365 and Enterprise Mobility + Security into a subscription-based cloud platform for business collaboration and security.
Microsoft 365 combines teams and resources into a common environment. With one login, users can access all available services, applications and Windows 10 devices from any location. Users can also work offline and then sync their applications once they reconnect. In addition, Microsoft 365 includes an AI-based search and discovery feature to find relevant information that users can import directly into Office applications.
A Microsoft 365 subscription plan also provides security that can control access, prevent data leaks and protect against threats. Users automatically receive the latest Windows 10 and Office 365 security updates.
What's included in Microsoft 365
A Microsoft 365 subscription includes three primary components.
Windows 10. The edition depends on the subscription type, with features specific to that edition. Available editions include Professional, Enterprise and Education.
Office 365. The suite includes the fully installed and web versions of the Office productivity and communications tools, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Teams and SharePoint. In addition, Office 365 provides OneDrive storage, as well as management and security capabilities.
Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS). EMS is a collection of services for protecting, managing and controlling access to resources. It includes features such as multifactor authentication, security reporting, mobile device management and advanced data protection.
The availability of each of these services varies significantly among Microsoft 365 subscription plans.
Microsoft 365 subscription plans
Microsoft 365 offers three subscription plans: Business, Enterprise and Education.
Business. This plan is geared toward SMBs with up to 300 users. It includes Windows 10 Professional, Office 365 Business Premium and several EMS features. The plan also allows users to upgrade from Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 Professional to Windows 10 Professional.
The plan's Office 365 features include the basic Office applications, along with 1 TB of file storage; collaboration services, such as online meetings and chat-based workspaces; and business applications, such as Outlook Customer Manager and MileIQ.
The Business plan's EMS features include Azure Active Directory (AD), Intune device management, threat protection, always-on security, and other management and security capabilities. However, the plan does not include all the Azure AD features, such as reporting, conditional access or self-service capabilities.
Enterprise. This plan includes Windows 10 Enterprise, Office 365 Enterprise and more advanced EMS features that target larger organizations. The Enterprise plan is available at three subscription levels.
- Microsoft 365 F1 targets first-line workers and includes features such as Azure Information Protection P1, Windows Autopilot, Azure AD P1, Advanced Threat Analytics and It is based on Windows 10 Enterprise E3, Office 365 F1 and some EMS features.
- Microsoft 365 E3 adds features such as Office 365 data loss prevention, plus the full feature set for components such as the Flow, Stream and PowerApps services. This edition is based on Windows 10 Enterprise E3, Office 365 E3 and EMS E3.
- Microsoft 365 E5 offers all the features available in the Enterprise plan, including audio conferencing, a phone system, Azure AD P2, Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection, Azure Information Protection P2 and Power BI Pro. This edition is based on Windows 10 Enterprise E5, Office 365 E5 and EMS E5.
Education. The Microsoft 365 subscription for Education is geared toward educators and includes Windows 10 Education, Office 365 Education and various EMS features. It includes three plans that offer classroom-friendly tools such as Microsoft Teams, Office Lens and OneNote Class Notebook.
Organizations that don't want to implement all three products -- Windows 10, Office 365 and EMS -- can purchase them separately, or they can mix and match strategies, such as subscribing to Microsoft 365 for some users and purchasing separate products for others. With a Microsoft 365 subscription, IT teams have a wide range of options, and they can pick the strategy that works best for their users.