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Office 365 E3 Plan Details

I think Microsoft made a major mistake with the E2 and E3 plans in Office 365. While they’re right-on with the E1 plan, but the E2 and E3 plans aren’t quite right – the punch is lost. Take a read through Microsoft’s comparison of their plans. For more details, visit this site.

E1 is a fantastic plan. It’s the perfect, low cost step to unlock users from the limits of a P-plan.

The difference between the E1 and E2 plans is the addition of the Office web apps (the ability to edit / create office documents from your browser). Price jump: $7

The differences between the E2 and E3 plans are the addition of Excel/Visio/Access Services and Office 2010 desktop licensing. Price jump: $8

The value of the jump from E1 to E2 is somewhat minor. Okay, yes, there’s some kiosk / remote work increase. The value jump between E2 and E3 is huge. Unfortunately, the net cost between E1 and E3 is substantial.

Adding Excel Services, by itself, is huge for companies. It allows dash boarding, charting and other functionality that absolutely rocks in SharePoint. I’ve built beautiful things that clients love using it. Is that client willing to pay $15/user/month for it?  Umm.. not so sure.

But wait – it includes Office 2010 Professional!  Realistically, how many enterprise customers don’t have Office 2010 installed? Of my client base – almost none. If they didn’t have it, it’s a fabulous deal. But when most companies can’t survive without Office, you know they already have it in place. So that’s not a great feature.

What I’d love to see – take Office 2010 out of E3. Make the jumps a little smaller ($9.5 for E1, 13.5 for E2, 17.5 for E3) and add an add-on for Office ($7). It’s the same fees to customers who want everything, but more flexibility for Enterprise customers.

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