Microsoft 365 has become an integral part of modern workplaces, empowering organizations with a comprehensive suite of productivity tools, collaboration software, and cloud services. However, with the numerous licensing options available, it can be daunting for businesses to select the right combination that best suits their needs. In this blog post, we will explore the different types of Microsoft 365 licenses and their various use cases to help you make an informed decision for your organization.

  1. Microsoft 365 Business Basic

Microsoft 365 Business Basic is an entry-level license designed for small and medium-sized businesses. Formerly known as Office 365 Business Essentials, this license is a cloud-based solution that provides essential productivity tools to enhance collaboration and communication.

Use Cases:

  • Email and Calendar Management: Business Basic grants access to Exchange Online, allowing users to manage emails, contacts, and calendars effortlessly.
  • Online Meetings and Chat: The license includes Microsoft Teams, enabling seamless virtual meetings, video conferences, and instant messaging among team members.
  • Web Applications: Users can access online versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and other applications through their web browsers, promoting document collaboration and sharing.
  1. Microsoft 365 Business Standard

Microsoft 365 Business Standard, previously known as Office 365 Business Premium, offers a comprehensive set of features that go beyond Business Basic. This license targets small to medium-sized businesses and is suitable for organizations that need both online and desktop versions of Microsoft applications.

Use Cases:

  • Desktop Applications: Business Standard provides users with installed versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and more on up to five devices, including PCs, Macs, and mobile devices.
  • SharePoint and OneDrive: This license enables businesses to create intranet sites and collaborate on documents through SharePoint, while OneDrive ensures secure cloud storage and file synchronization.
  • Microsoft Bookings: Ideal for service-oriented businesses, Bookings allows customers to schedule appointments online, streamlining appointment management.
  1. Microsoft 365 Business Premium

Microsoft 365 Business Premium builds upon Business Standard by adding advanced security and device management features. It targets small to medium-sized businesses that require comprehensive productivity and security tools in a single package.

Use Cases:

  • Advanced Security: Business Premium includes features like Azure Information Protection, which helps protect sensitive data, and Microsoft Intune, facilitating mobile device management for enhanced security.
  • Advanced Threat Protection: This license offers additional security layers against sophisticated threats, such as malware and phishing attacks, with features like Exchange Online Protection.
  • Windows Autopilot: Simplifies device setup, reducing IT management overhead and improving the user experience during deployment.
  1. Microsoft 365 Apps for Enterprise

Formerly known as Office 365 ProPlus, Microsoft 365 Apps for Enterprise is a license designed for businesses that need only the desktop versions of Microsoft Office applications without cloud services like Exchange or SharePoint.

Use Cases:

  • Desktop Applications: Organizations can benefit from the latest versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and other Microsoft applications installed on up to five devices per user.
  • Offline Work: M365 Apps for Enterprise allows users to work on documents even without an internet connection, making it suitable for scenarios where connectivity might be limited.
  1. Microsoft 365 E3 and E5

Microsoft 365 Enterprise plans cater to larger organizations that require advanced security, compliance, and analytics capabilities. These licenses are suitable for businesses looking to leverage Microsoft’s most robust productivity and security features.

Use Cases:

  • Compliance and Information Protection: Organizations dealing with sensitive data can benefit from advanced features like Microsoft Information Protection and data loss prevention (DLP) capabilities.
  • Advanced Analytics: Microsoft 365 E5 includes Power BI Pro and Advanced Threat Analytics, empowering organizations with actionable insights and enhanced security monitoring.
  • Microsoft Cloud App Security: Enables better visibility and control over cloud applications, enhancing overall security posture.


Choosing the right Microsoft 365 license is essential for maximizing productivity and collaboration while meeting your organization’s specific needs. Whether you’re a small business looking for basic communication and productivity tools or a large enterprise seeking advanced security and compliance features, Microsoft offers a wide range of licensing options to cater to various use cases. By understanding the different types of licenses and their respective features, you can make an informed decision and unlock the full potential of Microsoft 365 for your organization’s success.

author avatar