Hitting the right road: what is Microsoft 365?

I’m going to be brief, and jot down the main things I’d personally keep in mind every time I hear “Microsoft 365”, hoping that this bulleted list would eventually help others at some point.

So, let’s get to the essence and we’ll detail everything else in other blog posts as we go.

What’s included in the Microsoft 365 offer?

First off, we should note we’re dealing with a bundle of services and products:

  • Windows 10 (operating system and services)
  • Office 365 (applications + services)
  • EMS, as in Enterprise Mobility and Security (includes Intune device management, analytics and some Azure Active Directory – AAD- capabilities)

This bundle is sold as a per user subscription. And yes, of course, we’ll have separate explanatory articles for each component.

Who is this bundle for?

  • Microsoft 365 Enterprise – aimed at companies with over 300 users, comes with two options — Windows 10 Enterprise (E3 or E5) along with Office 365 and EMS.
  • Microsoft 365 Business – targetting small to mid sized businesses (also referred to as SMBs) with – naturally – less than 300 users. Comes with Windows 10 Pro, Office 365 and EMS.
  • Microsoft 365 F1 – no, it’s not about Formula 1 racing, but about the so-called ”firstline/customer service and support workers”. They are treated with Windows 10 Enterprise, Office 365 F1 (it’s an Office 365 plan name, we’ll discuss that later as well), and EMS.
  • Microsoft 365 Education – aimed, obviously, at educational institutions. This type of bundle has 3 plans, named A1, AE and A5. I know, sounds boring, or misterious at best, but we’ll make sure to clear any fog here too.
  • Microsoft 365 Non-profit – the name says it all – Includes Office 365 Business Premium, Intune, and more. It seems very similar to Microsoft 365 Business but with a reduced rate.
  • Microsoft 365 Government – to my best knowledge so far,  this is an U.S. exclusive offer for their public sector, governmental agencies and their contractors working with controlled – but not classified – data/information.  Comes with two plans, G3 and G5, contains U.S. government standards compliant security and colaboration tools.

Are there any plans for consumers?

As you may have noticed above, there is no Microsoft 365 bundle for home users/consumers. At least not yet. Well, I already shared my thoughts on Microsoft abandoning consumers and becoming a boring – yet profitable – business, no need to insist here. For now, just like Microsoft does, let’s follow the money and worry about everything else later.

Preliminary Conclusions

Just like I emphasized at the beginning, this a first fast-forward, barely-touching-the-water experience towards Microsoft 365 on this blog. Nothing too complicated, not so many details so far. That’s by design. That’s because this entire blog, going forward, will try to expose and clarify most of the things you and your business should know when dealing with various aspects, options and dillemas – why not? – about the best Microsoft colaboration, security and communication solutions available.

Cosmin

Cosmin is an independent IT consultant, with a huge passion for Microsoft technologies. Between 2014 and 2018, based on his Windows expertise and contributions in various IT communities, Cosmin was awarded by Microsoft with the Most Valuable Professional (MVP) title.

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