Azure AD Premium P1 comes to Microsoft 365 Business; get ready…

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Azure AD Premium P1 comes to Microsoft 365 Business; get ready…

I am calling it now–the Microsoft 365 Business SKU is going to be the most widely deployed 365 subscription someday (and perhaps soon). Maybe not by total number of seats, since the Enterprise has so many people in it, but certainly by number of customers/tenants (because there are MANY more small businesses than Enterprises).

Small and mid-sized businesses, defined for the purposes of Microsoft’s licensing model as 300 users or less, should be flocking to this subscription from wherever they started their journey–Office 365 Business Premium, E3, whatever. The value of these other subscriptions is quickly diminishing compared to the juggernaut that is Microsoft 365 Business.

And today I’m happy to say I woke up to find this little nugget in the Message Center:

So we previously had about 80% of the features of Azure AD Premium P1, but that made for some difficult conversations and explanations with customers. What is or is not included?

Now it’s just all included. Greatly simplifying things for us.

So at this point, Microsoft 365 E3 seems like a pretty stupid SKU for the SMB. If your organization is 300 users or less you’d be a fool to pick E3 over the Business SKU. Why? Because Microsoft 365 Business literally includes more than E3 for LESS money!!! Specifically, USD $12/user/month less. WOW.

The big item to be included with Business and not E3 is Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection P1. Granted that’s only $2/user/month on its own, but for USD $20/user/month you can basically get the same feature-set as E3 AND ATP plan 1… so why would you look at Enterprise at all?

Not to mention, even if you had Office 365 E3, which also retails for USD $20, we don’t have anywhere near the same functionality. To be fair, Enterprise plans include Pro Plus apps vs. Business, but we have support added for almost everything that matters, and now M365B includes:

  • Azure AD Premium P1
  • Intune / Microsoft Endpoint Manager
  • Office 365 ATP P1
  • Several other add-ons that bring the Business plan on-par with Enterprise E3 such as Shared Computer Activation, Azure Information Protection, DLP, Exchange Online Archiving, etc.
  • Even Teams voice / phone system support is coming soon, as announced at Ignite 2019

So if you are still on a legacy Office SKU start moving over to the new hotness. This train is leaving the station…

Oh, and I’ve already had some people ask whether this means that Enterprise Mobility + Security E3 is now included. The answer is No. That bundle also contains Advanced Threat Analytics, which hardly anyone uses anyway, especially in the SMB. For all purposes, you basically have EM+S E3 via Intune and Azure AD Premium P1, as well as Azure Information Protection P1, but these will show up as individually included items within the larger bundle of Microsoft 365 Business–it’s not “true” EM+S E3.

Comments (26)

  • Jacob Reply

    Would this benefit non-admins with MO365 Business or just admins?

    March 9, 2020 at 4:47 pm
    • Alex Reply

      Every user who is assigned a Microsoft 365 Business license will have full Azure AD Premium P1 and be entitled to all the benefits thereof.

      March 9, 2020 at 4:57 pm
  • Chris Porosky Reply

    Alex – great write up as always. For M365B with shared computer activation, does that mean we can use it with Remote Desktop Services?

    March 9, 2020 at 5:38 pm
  • Ian Moran Reply

    Alex – not seeing this in the UK – does the Message Center notification indicate that it’s currently US only ?

    March 9, 2020 at 5:42 pm
    • Alex Reply

      It doesn’t say–I wonder if they will have an announcement soon in the tech community blog for small business… we’ll have to keep our eyes out for that (they have historically announced new features there).

      March 10, 2020 at 11:53 am
  • Frédéric Dos Santos Tavares Reply

    What a great news! Thank you one more time for all your articles Alex.

    March 10, 2020 at 2:30 am
  • Nikos Reply

    This is great news!
    Just reminds me your previous article back to 2019 Dec 4 – “Still waiting for full Azure AD Premium P1 in Microsoft 365 Business…and other Christmas wish list items.”
    One wish close to complete :)

    March 10, 2020 at 9:54 am
  • Tracy Ratz Reply

    This is a long time coming. Even MS support got confused about what comes with M365 Business and in regards to Azure AD Premium 1. The only thing i could see people needing is some people regardless of what you show them or use all stuck in their ways and i have seen where they needed Exchange Online Plan 2 (100 GB) of mail vs the 50 GB that you get for M365 Business as they like having a large mailbox. Office 365 E3 does include the 100 GB mailbox but for the majority of users I can’t see not using M365 Business unless you need the large mailbox or hit over 300 users.

    March 10, 2020 at 10:57 am
    • Alex Reply

      Truth! And even then, you could add EXO Plan 2 on to this, and it would still be less than E3.

      March 10, 2020 at 12:04 pm
  • Mr. T Reply

    When migrating from O365 E3 to M365B, or if running in a mixed license environment, what happens when a user signs into a computer with O365 E3 ProPlus installed (in shared activation mode) but they’re only licensed for M365B? So far in our testing, the ProPlus install APPEARs to be licensed successfully, and I honestly cannot tell the difference in the about window, what edition the Office install is (Is it ProPlus, or is it not?!?!). Any indication from Microsoft on how existing Office installations handle the license switch from ProPlus to M365B? Does it simply get downgraded in the few particular areas that ProPlus differs from M365B, or is this one of those ‘grey’ areas that Microsoft doesn’t really address… it just ‘works’.

    March 10, 2020 at 4:45 pm
  • William Reply


    I rolled out e3 to all clients – has anyone tried to move from e3 to business does it affect the machines at all? (Windows 10 Enterprise etc)

    March 11, 2020 at 7:24 am
    • Alex Reply

      This is a really good question! I don’t know the answer yet; when you join a Pro workstation to a Business or Enterprise subscription it automatically upgrades it, but I am not sure about going the other direction, and downgrading. Report back what you learn from testing!!

      March 11, 2020 at 10:07 am
  • Ian Moran Reply

    Alex what do you mean by ..

    “To be fair, Enterprise plans include Pro Plus apps vs. Business”

    Does M365 Business not include the same Office apps as E3 for example ?

    March 11, 2020 at 10:07 am
    • Alex Reply

      Correct, Microsoft 365 Business = Office 365 Business Premium + Some add-ons that make the “Business” edition of the apps similar to Enterprise + most of EM+S E3 + Windows 10 Business. So the Office suite isn’t “Pro Plus” it is Office 365 Business–which has a few limitations but not that bad with the add-ons they give us.

      For example, Business doesn’t allow you to use Spreadsheet compare or PowerPivot/PowerQuery in Excel, at least as of today. As well, you can’t use GPO to manage Office (but you can use Intune and just fine). By default the Business edition doesn’t support AIP or shared computer activation, but they added those into the M365B bundle to level stuff out a bit.

      These are things they have slowly been adding into the subscription to make it as attractive as possible to the SMB. I think they have probably arrived at the tipping point w/ AAD P1. But there are one or two more things I’d like to see ultimately added.

      March 11, 2020 at 10:22 am
      • Tracy Ratz Reply


        Actually they added in shared computer activation in M365 Business.


        March 11, 2020 at 2:13 pm
  • Ian Moran Reply

    Alex – Office 365 Business is missing from your licensing graphic – possibly on purpose though as it only offers OneDrive plus the desktop apps

    March 11, 2020 at 3:42 pm
    • Alex Reply

      Yeah I didn’t need to encircle that one in the graphic as I figure more important to compare the cloud-only services (essentials) to business premium (adding desktop apps) to M365B (where everyone should be heading)

      March 13, 2020 at 9:24 am
  • Mike Reply

    Alex, Great update article. Thanks.
    What are your recommendations for Mac clients regarding M365B and other licences? We have about 50:50 split of PCs to Macs (30 users). Do the M365B licences make sense for use on a Mac (given the Windows 10 part of the licence)?

    Due to historic reasons we currently have a mix of of Enterprise E1 (free), ProPlus (paid), and now M365B (10 Free for Non Profits!), and EMS E3 (50 Free for non-profits). Pondering whether to dump the ProPlus licences for more paid M365B licences (or possibly O365 Business Premium) and move everyone over to the Business line of licences?



    March 11, 2020 at 6:47 pm
    • Alex Reply

      Yes they still make sense for Mac because the Windows license costs are nothing in the total SKU, actually negative dollars at this point. This bundle is like adding O365 BP plus EM+S E3, plus ATP, plus other add-ons like Exchange Online Archiving, etc.–the total of all that is thrown in here puts it well over $20 if you tried to build similar without a Windows license. You get 10 free copies of this if you are non-profit, then it’s only $5.00/user/month

      March 13, 2020 at 9:22 am
  • Mike Strubbe Reply

    Hey Alex,

    A question on the Full P1..

    Tenant has received full Azure Active Directory Premium P1 license, checked on user level and in Az AD (Azure AD Premium P1).
    However, I seem to have an issue when trying to Export Sign-In logs to Sentinel. The Sentinel connector for Azure AD states: License: required AAD P1/P2.

    What would the advice be in this? Exporting sign-in logs to LogAnalytics/Sentinel was a major expectation of P1 for regulated customers.



    April 20, 2020 at 5:08 am
    • Alex Reply

      Two possibilities–One: it may just take some extra time to kick in, I have seen that happen when making license changes before. Two: Open a case w/ MSFT and make sure your tenant got properly “hydrated” when this changeover happened. Sometimes when changes are rolled out I notice that not all of the items connected to said change get properly triggered. I haven’t seen that with this particular issue, or any related to a licensing change. But I saw it recently when MSFT made updates to file experience in Teams, something went wrong with the update in one of my customer’s tenants and they were able to re-run the deployment of that feature in the back end. Took a while to move that up the chain until it got into the right hands.

      April 20, 2020 at 11:36 am
  • Ryan Reply

    Does this mean you also get Azure AD P1 included in M365 Business Basic?

    February 10, 2021 at 2:50 am
    • Alex Reply

      No, the product is now called Microsoft 365 Business Premium (it used to be called Microsoft 365 Business back when “Business Basic” was known as Office 365 Business Essentials).

      February 11, 2021 at 11:13 am

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