Continuing with the convention of confusing products names, Microsoft has now released Microsoft 365 Business for general availability. Microsoft 365 Business has all the goodness of Office 365 Business Premium (that is, fully installed Office desktop apps, a 50GB Exchange Online mailbox, a 1TB OneDrive storage space) as well as Windows 10 and Azure Active Directory integration.Wow, that’s a lot of software in one package. It’s clear that Microsoft is trying to cater for small and medium businesses with one simple offering. However, there are some caveats:
- The Windows 10 license is an upgrade license – you must have Windows 7 or later installed in order to qualify for the upgrade. However if you later decide to downgrade to, say, Office 365 Business Premium, you get to keep the Windows 10 license.
- Microsoft 365 Business requires Azure Active Directory. If your business has an internal Active Directory you can’t use it with this product.
- Like Office 365 Business Premium, this is a monthly subscription only.
- It’s limited to companies of 300 users or less.
With Microsoft 365 Business you can get new employees up and running very quickly. Thanks to Azure Active Directory and the web-based 365 Admin panel, you can configure company policies so that when devices (phones, tablets, computers) connect with their Microsoft 365 Business accounts.
- Auto-install Office applications on new devices.
- Wipe company data from devices.
- Enforce company-wide security policies such as file encryption and password strength.
- Force users to save all documents to OneDrive.
- Automatically update computers to Windows 10.
Thanks to the above automations Microsoft 365 Business is the most enterprise grade small and mid-sized businesses offering to date.