Microsoft 365 Business Premium vs E3

If you’re wondering whether to subscribe to Microsoft 365 Business Premium vs E3, I have a question for you: 

Do you need more than 300 licenses? 

If the answer is no, the answer is simple. Get Business Premium. It’s MUCH cheaper at $22/mo vs $36/mo (pricing starting March 2022). 

If you’re a small business owner, you can stop reading here. A small business owner buying E3 would be like a senior citizen paying full price for health insurance because “Medicare is for wimps.”

For you IT Professionals, grab your microscope and let’s delve in deeper. We’re going to be splitting hair.

Splitting hair

Let’s first clarify by saying, when I talk about E3, I’m referring to Microsoft 365 E3 ($36/mo), not Office 365 E3 ($23/mo). The main difference between the two is Enterprise Mobility and Security ( Office 365 E3 would be a closer comparison to Microsoft 365 Business Standard.

Next week I’ll be writing Friends Don’t Let Friends Buy Standard.  So stay tuned.

Business Premium is not an exact equivalent of E3

The nitty gritty details can be found in the link below, but here’s the most significant difference:

  • Business Premium comes with Windows 10 Pro / E3 comes with Windows 10 Enterprise
  • Business Premium comes with Microsoft Defender for Office 365 P1 / E3 come with no additional email protection

You read that right. E3 comes with no additional email protection. With phishing being the #1 vector for ransomware, I think this is a critical omission. Seriously Microsoft? You’re going to take $36/mo and do me like that? Unless you need Windows 10 Enterprise for some reason, stick with Business Premium.


Microsoft 365 Business Premium vs Microsoft 365 E3 vs Office 365 E3 price table comparison

(Partial screenshot. Follow the link above for the full chart).

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