Buy Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365): How to find the right Microsoft 365 plan

Microsoft 365 is the cloud version of the popular Office suite by the US software company. You need to choose your preferred subscription to buy Microsoft 365. These differ depending on the area of application. Read on to find out which option best suits you and what you should consider when buying Microsoft 365.

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This article has been updated in June 2023.

Find the right Microsoft 365 plan (formerly Office 365)

Microsoft offers subscriptions of the Microsoft 365 productivity software in the form of “plans”. The company offers various plans for home users, businesses, educational institutions and non-profit organizations, which differ in scope in the applications and features they contain.

Microsoft 365 for private users

The range of Microsoft 365 functions depends on the subscription plan you choose. For private users, the following Microsoft plans are available

Microsoft 365 Personal $6.99 per user/month on an annual subscription
Microsoft 365 Family $9.99 per user/month on an annual subscription

Microsoft 365 Personal

Microsoft 365 Personal is aimed at individual users who wish to use the productivity software for private purpose. The software subscription provides access to the following programs:

  • Word
  • Excel
  • PowerPoint
  • Defender
  • OneNote
  • Access
  • Publisher
  • Forms
  • Outlook
  • Teams
  • Skype
  • Clipchamp

The applications are available in the form of Office Online via web browser and can be installed on PCs or Macs as a desktop application. Corresponding apps for smartphones and tablets are also available. You can install the software on up to five different end devices in total. All documents can be saved offline. The subscription also includes 1 TB of OneDrive cloud storage.

Microsoft 365 Family

As the name suggests, Microsoft is targeting families with the Family plan. Included functions are largely the same as those of the Microsoft 365 Single plan but are available for up to six users. In addition, there’s the Family Safety service.

All applications can be installed locally. In addition, tablets and smartphones are supported, which display the productivity software on an interface optimized for mobile devices. Microsoft 365 Family includes 1 TB of OneDrive cloud storage for up to six accounts.

Microsoft 365 for business

Microsoft also offers subscription models for business customers that, depending on the plan, cover the requirements of small and medium-sized companies or are tailored to large companies on enterprise plans.

Microsoft 365 Business Basic $6 per user /month on an annual subscription
Microsoft 365 Apps for Business $8.25 per user /month on an annual subscription
Microsoft 365 Business Standard $12.50 per user /month on an annual subscription
Microsoft 365 Business Premium $22 per user /month on an annual subscription
Microsoft 365 Enterprise E3 $36 per user /month on an annual subscription
Microsoft 365 Enterprise E5 $57 per user /month on an annual subscription
Microsoft 365 Enterprise F3 $8 per user /month on an annual subscription
Microsoft 365 Apps for Enterprise $12 per user/month on an annual subscription
Tip

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Microsoft 365 Business Basic

Microsoft 365 Business Basic is a great choice for budget-conscious entrepreneurs looking to buy Office 365. The entry-level business subscription includes the most important applications for everyday business use:

  • Word
  • Excel
  • PowerPoint
  • Teams
  • Outlook
  • Exchange
  • OneDrive
  • SharePoint

However, you’ll be relying on web and mobile versions of the Office suite programs, because you won’t be able to install the software on your desktop devices. In addition to applications, you get access to a 50GB mailbox and a dedicated email domain. 1 TB of OneDrive storage is also included.

Microsoft 365 Apps for Business

With this business plan, you get the Office suite programs as web and mobile versions plus the download version for installation on PC or Mac:

  • Word
  • Excel
  • PowerPoint
  • Outlook
  • OneDrive
  • Access
  • Publisher

However, the plan doesn’t include Microsoft’s collaboration tools Teams and SharePoint or an email address. That means you need to use Outlook in combination with another email provider. However, 1 TB storage for OneDrive is included.

Microsoft 365 Business Standard

The Business Standard plan extends on the basic plan and includes the following applications:

  • Word
  • Excel
  • PowerPoint
  • Teams
  • Outlook
  • Exchange
  • OneDrive
  • SharePoint
  • Access
  • Publisher

Access and Publisher programs are included. Unlike the basic version, you can also install the software on a PC or Mac in the standard plan. The offer includes an email domain and 50 GB mailbox and OneDrive with 1 TB of storage space.

Microsoft 365 Business Premium

The premium offering for small and medium-sized enterprises contains the full range of software solutions:

  • Word
  • Excel
  • PowerPoint
  • Teams
  • Outlook
  • Exchange
  • OneDrive
  • SharePoint
  • Access
  • Publisher
  • Intune
  • Azure Information Protection

By adding Intune and Azure Information Protection, Microsoft 365 Business Premium puts more emphasis on security compared to the lower tier plans. Also included in the plan are 1TB cloud storage and an email domain with a 50 GB mailbox.

Microsoft 365 Enterprise E3

Microsoft also provides subscriptions for large corporations. All enterprise plans boast a huge range of applications. The Office suite is just one component of the plans. Programs can be used in a browser as web versions or can be installed locally. For each user, the software can be installed on up to 15 devices: 5 desktop computers (PC/Mac), 5 tablets, 5 smartphones.

Windows 11 is part of Microsoft 365 Enterprise E3. Each user gets 1 TB of cloud storage. If you create more than 5 users, the storage space increases to 5 TB each. If storage is exceeded, you can request additional storage space from Microsoft Support.

Microsoft 365 Enterprise E5

The E5 plan is almost identical to the cheaper E3 variant. Office applications can be installed on up to 15 end devices. The Windows 11 operating system is included, and the same cloud storage rules apply. However, the plan packs in more in terms of compliance functions.

The main difference is the VoIP option. To implement a phone system via Microsoft 365, you need to select the E5 Enterprise plan.

Microsoft 365 Enterprise F3

A business looking to buy Microsoft 365 at a reasonable price, will find the F3 plan to be the right choice. In contrast to E3 and E5, this subscription model is more limited in scope. It includes the Windows operating system and all Office suite applications, but they cannot be installed on desktop computers. This means you have to use the applications in the browser as a web app or in a mobile version.

The plan limits storage space. It includes a mailbox of just 2 GB and OneDrive storage is limited to 2 GB per user. There are also some restrictions in terms of security, compliance and analysis compared to E3 and E5.

The F1 plan in the F range is a bit cheaper but has fewer functions.

Microsoft 365 Apps for Enterprise

Another affordable option for businesses is Apps for Enterprise. It includes the full Office suite as web apps and installable versions. You can install Word and co on up to 15 devices: 5 desktop computers (PC or Mac), 5 smartphones and 5 tablets.

But you don’t get your own email box with Exchange when selecting this plan. However, OneDrive cloud storage with 1 TB of storage space is a feature. Unfortunately, the Teams communication software is not included in this plan.

Microsoft 365 from IONOS — a special plan for SMEs

Small or medium-sized businesses can also buy Microsoft 365 Business online from IONOS. The offer includes the complete Office package and the communication solutions Exchange and Teams. Storage is part of the package and includes a 50 GB mailbox and 1 TB OneDrive storage.

As a special feature, IONOS provides a practical setup service. So, you don’t need to worry about configuration. Expert support helps to answer all of your questions and solves your problems 24/7.

With IONOS you can choose from two plans:

Microsoft 365 Business Basic $9 per user/month
Microsoft 365 Business Standard $16 per user/month

As part of the Basic plan, you can use Office applications as a web app in the browser, no matter where you are and what device you’re using. In the Standard plan, the software is also available for installation on up to 5 desktop computers. Apps for mobile devices are available for download in this tariff.

Another big difference between the two plans is that the Standard plan includes a domain. This way you get a professional email address too.

Microsoft 365 for pupils, students and teachers

Microsoft has a range of plans for the education sector. The plans are intended for pupils and students as well as teachers and employees of educational institutions. They differ somewhat in price, but not in their features. Subscriptions tend to be discounted but appropriate evidence must be presented.

  For pupils and students For teachers and academic institutions
Office 365 A1 Free Free
Office 365 A3 Price available upon request Price available upon request
Office 365 A5 Price available upon request Price available upon request

Office 365 A1

The low-cost plan includes access to the most important Office suite applications. Other important services like Teams, OneDrive and Exchange are included. However, all applications must be used online as part of the A1 plan. Applications cannot be installed on a device.

Office 365 A3

The medium option for the educational sector boasts the same applications as the A1 plan. In addition, Access and Publisher are included. However, all applications can be installed with this plan.

Office 365 A5

The plan with the broadest scope includes everything from the A3 package as well as additional services for management. Office 365 A5 boasts applications to help with compliance, security and analysis.

Microsoft 365 for charitable and nonprofit organizations

To support nonprofit organizations, Microsoft offers special discounts on its Business plans.

Microsoft 365 Business Basic (up to 300 users) Free
Microsoft 365 Business Standard $3 per user/month on annual subscription
Microsoft 365 Business Premium $5.50 per user/month on annual subscription
Microsoft 365 E3 $9 per user/month on annual subscription
Microsoft 365 E5 $22.80 per user/month on annual subscription

To be eligible for the discounted pricing, you must meet certain criteria:

  • Your organization must be officially registered as a charity
  • The nonprofit organization must benefit the local population.
  • The organization must be committed to anti-discrimination efforts internally.

Where to get Microsoft 365?

You can order Microsoft 365 subscriptions and packages directly from Microsoft. For small and medium-sized companies, IONOS offers Microsoft 365 Business plans that include additional benefits:

  • Secure data centers: Your data is secured in certified data centers complying with the highest security standards.
  • 24/7 expert support: For questions or problems, you can contact our support centers at any time by phone, chat or email.
  • Setup service: IONOS experts will set up Microsoft 365 for you, so that you can work directly with the software.

Buying Microsoft 365 or Office 365?

In 2020, Microsoft officially renamed Office 365 to Microsoft 365. In addition to familiar Office products (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.), Microsoft 365 offers plenty of communication and collaboration tools. Somewhat confusingly, Microsoft 365 still provides “Office 365” plans. The latter are aimed at educational institutions or students, for example.

Microsoft 365 for Business with IONOS!

Powerful Exchange email and the latest versions of your favorite Office apps on any device - get started with our free setup assistance.

50 GB Exchange email account
1TB OneDrive cloud storage
24/7 expert support
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