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July 21, 2022
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Microsoft 365 F1 vs F3 vs Office 365 F3

1. Understanding Microsoft 365 and Office 365 frontline worker plans

Frontline workers can be found in all business sectors and represent a large segment of potential technology users. These workers often spend their days interacting with customers or working on factory floors; however, technology has become increasingly important to support them, which in this case, creates a significant opportunity for digital transformation through this workforce.

In fact, within the Microsoft 365 and Office 365 suites, there are several plans available that are tailored to several types of users and needs.

The new Microsoft 365 F1 plan was made available on April 1, 2020. Existing Microsoft 365 F1 (and Office 365 F1) plans were rebranded to Microsoft 365 F3 (and Office 365 F3) on April 1, 2020. Existing customers received a message about this new plan in the Admin Message Center or from their Microsoft Partner.

Furthermore, to empower the frontline workers at your organization, Microsoft offers three plans specifically tailored to their needs: Microsoft 365 F1, Microsoft 365 F3, and Office 365 F3. To choose the right plan for your workforce, it is important to understand how these plans differ and which would best fit your workplace.

Additionally, a common question that often arises is how the Office 365 E1 plan from the Office 365 Enterprise family is compared with the frontline worker plans as it falls into a comparable price range.

In contrast, the Microsoft 365 E3 and Office 365 E3 plans are geared towards more traditional office workers who need access to the full suite of Office applications and more advanced features.

In addition, understanding the differences between the various Licensing options for Microsoft 365 Business and Enterprise plans can help businesses choose the best plan suited to their needs and budget. In the next section, we'll take a closer look at the features and benefits of these Firstline worker plans - Microsoft 365 F1 vs F3 license vs Office F3 license.

2. Microsoft 365 F1

Microsoft 365 F1, also known as the "frontline worker plan," is a subscription-based productivity platform designed specifically for employees who don't have a desk or office and don't need an Email mailbox or the full suite of Office applications. This plan includes access to web versions & read-only mobile versions of Office applications, calendars, and other collaboration tools, as well as security and compliance features.

Furthermore, one of the key benefits of the Microsoft F1 plan is its cost-effectiveness. It is the most affordable Frontline worker plan compared to Microsoft 365 F3 and Office 365 F3 plans, making it a more budget-friendly option for businesses with many frontline workers.

In terms of security, the M365 F1 plan includes basic versions of Microsoft’s security features such as data loss prevention, advanced threat protection, and compliance tools. requirements.

Overall, the Microsoft 365 F1 license plan is a cost-effective and flexible solution for businesses with many frontline workers who need access to basic communication and collaboration tools but don't require the full suite of Office applications or even an Email mailbox.

3. Microsoft 365 F3

Microsoft 365 F3, also known as the "frontline worker plan," is a subscription-based productivity platform designed specifically for employees who don't have a desk or office and need access to a range of collaboration and communication tools. This plan includes access to web versions of Office applications, email, calendar, and other collaboration tools, as well as full mobile versions of Office apps and advanced security and compliance features.

One key difference between the Microsoft 365 F1 vs F3 plans is that the Microsoft 365 F3 plan includes a 2 GB user email mailbox as well as full mobile versions of Office apps, whereas the Microsoft 365 F1 plan only includes web versions of the applications. In fact, this makes the Microsoft F3 plan a more comprehensive solution for businesses with frontline workers who need access to advanced tools on their mobile devices, such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

The Microsoft 365 F3 plan also includes full versions of advanced security and compliance features, such as data loss prevention and advanced threat protection. Thus, making it an ideal choice for businesses that handle sensitive data or need to meet strict compliance requirements.

4. Office 365 F3

Office 365 F3 (O365 F3 license plan), also known as the "frontline worker plan," is a subscription-based productivity platform designed specifically for employees who don't have a desk or office and need access to a range of collaboration and communication tools including a 2GB Exchange Kiosk Plan mailbox. This plan includes access to web versions of Office applications, email, calendar, and other collaboration tools, as well as full mobile versions of Office apps.

One key benefit of the Office 365 F3 vs Microsoft 365 F3 plan is its comprehensive mobile support. This plan includes full mobile versions of Office apps, such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, allowing frontline workers to access advanced tools on their mobile devices.

While some of the Office 365 F3 license limitations include no advanced security and compliance features like data loss prevention and advanced threat protection, like the other 2 plans, it does offer basic security measures like Microsoft Defender Antimalware, self-service password reset and Multifactor Authentication to protect data and ensure compliance with industry regulations.

5. Office 365 E1

Office 365 E1, also known as the "enterprise plan," is a subscription-based productivity platform that is designed for businesses of all sizes. This plan includes access to web versions of Office applications, email, calendar, and other collaboration tools, as well as basic security and compliance features.

If you are looking for more details on Enterprise plans – read Microsoft Office 365 Enterprise vs Microsoft 365 Enterprise.

One key difference between the Office 365 E1 and Microsoft 365 F3 plans is the inclusion of a 50GB Exchange Online mailbox and access to public folder mailboxes in the E1 plan, making it a more comprehensive solution for office workers who need more storage and collaboration capabilities. The E1 plan also includes SharePoint Plan 1 (unlike Microsoft 365 F1, Microsoft 365 F3, and Office 365 F3 which offer SharePoint Kiosk Plan) and access to additional collaboration tools such as Delve, Teams Live Events, Microsoft Forms, and To Do.

In terms of security, the Office 365 E1 plan, just like Office 365 F3 plan, does not include advanced security and compliance features such as data loss prevention and advanced threat protection but does offer support for Cloud App Security.

6. Comparison of Microsoft 365 F1, Microsoft 365 F3, Office 365 F3 and Office 365 E1 plans

The following table presents a detailed comparison of different Microsoft plans - Microsoft 365 F1 vs F3 vs Office 365 F3 vs Office 365 E1.

The table also includes cost comparison i.e., Microsoft F3 license cost vs Microsoft F1 license cost vs Microsoft 365 F3 license cost vs Office 365 E1 license cost.

Plan 


Microsoft 365 F1 Suite

Microsoft 365 F3 Suite

Office 365 F3 Suite

Office 365 E1 Suite

Price

Base price per user per month $USD (with an annual commitment)

$2.25 per person

$8.00 per person

$4.00 per person

$10.00 per person


Office Mobile Apps – Create/edit rights for commercial use of Office Mobile apps

Read Only


Office Online – Create/edit rights for online versions of core Office apps

Read Only







Microsoft 365 Apps

SPO K

SPO K

SPO K

Plan 1


EXO K (2 GB) - No Mailbox Rights

EXO K (2 GB)

EXO K (2 GB)

Plan 1



2 GB storage per user with no Desktop Sync

2 GB with no Desktop Sync

2 GB with no Desktop Sync

1 TB version

Social Networking

Yammer Enterprise

Productivity



Microsoft OneNote - Content



Microsoft Forms


Only Basic

Only Basic

Only Basic


Microsoft Graph API


Microsoft Planner


Microsoft PowerApps



View Only

View Only

View Only




To-Do (Online Access)


Microsoft Advanced Threat Protection - Microsoft 365 F1 vs F3 vs Office 365 F3

Microsoft Advance Threat Analytics (ATA)



Windows Defender Antivirus




Device Guard




Security Management

Secure Score

Device Management




Windows Autopilot



Information Protection

Plan 1

Plan 1




Windows Information Protection





BitLocker




Identity and Access Management

Windows Hello for Business





Credential Guard



Azure Active Directory Premium

Plan 1

Plan 1



Comparing Microsoft 365 F1, F3, and Office 365 F1: Which is the Best Fit for Your Business?

Choosing the right Microsoft 365 or Office 365 plan for your business can be a challenging task, especially when there are so many options available. When it comes to frontline workers, Microsoft offers three plans: Microsoft 365 F1, Microsoft 365 F3, and Office 365 F3. Each plan (Microsoft 365 F1 vs F3 license vs Office 365 F3 license) has its own set of features and benefits, and the best choice for your business will depend on your specific needs and budget.

If you're looking for a basic solution with access to web versions of Office applications and basic security and compliance features, the Microsoft 365 F1 plan might be the best fit. In any case, if you need more advanced tools and features, such as User Mailbox and the full suite of Office applications on Mobile, then Office 365 F3 plans might be a better choice. And assuming you were looking for advanced security and compliance features too then Microsoft 365 F3 is the way to go.

For businesses looking for personalized guidance and support to purchase Office 365 plan, Communication Square LLC is a preferred Microsoft partner that has been recognized for its expertise in helping organizations leverage these platforms to empower their frontline workers. In fact, Microsoft has even written a case study on Communication Square's offerings for frontline workers and is Featured as the No. 1 recommended Partner on Microsoft Firstline Workforce Homepage

The decision of which plan to choose will depend on your business needs and budget. Carefully consider the features and benefits of each plan, and don't hesitate to reach out to Communication Square or another Microsoft or Office 365 partner for guidance and assistance in making the best decision for your business.
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Last Updated 4 months ago

About the Author

Ateeb is a Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate. He aids clients in deployment, and management of Microsoft technologies - for both, on-premises and on the cloud environment.

With significant experience in deploying stand-alone and enterprise solutions, Ateeb enjoys helping organizations with their digital transformation journey.

Ateeb Fayyaz

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