Microsoft 365 / O365

E1 vs F3: Navigating Microsoft 365 Licensing for Your Business

Microsoft E1 vs F3 Licenses:

  • Microsoft E1 License:
    • Offers core Office web apps and email services.
    • Suitable for typical office workers.
    • Includes essential collaboration tools like Teams and SharePoint.
  • Microsoft F3 License:
    • Designed for frontline workers.
    • Provides access to basic Office web applications.
    • Limited storage and features compared to E1.

Each license is tailored for user groups, with E1 focusing on standard office environments and F3 catering to frontline operational staff.

Introduction to Microsoft E1 and F3 Licenses

365 E1 vsF3

Understanding Microsoft 365’s E1 and F3 Licenses:

  • Microsoft E1 License: This license is tailored for businesses needing essential online services, including Office web apps, email, and collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams.
  • Microsoft F3 License: This license is geared towards frontline workers and offers core Office web apps, essential collaboration tools, and limited storage options.
  • Target Audience & Primary Applications:
    • E1: Suited for businesses requiring a broad range of online services but not full desktop applications.
    • F3: Ideal for frontline staff, focusing on communication and efficiency with basic Office app functionalities.

Feature Comparison: E1 vs F3

Feature Comparison E1 vs F3

Key Features of E1 and F3 Licenses:

  • Common Features:
    • E1 and F3 offer core Office web apps, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
    • Email and calendar functionalities through Exchange Online.
    • Collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams and SharePoint Online.

Differences Highlighted:

  • Office Applications:
    • E1: Offers only web versions of Office apps.
    • F3: Similar to E1, but often with more restrictions on app functionalities.
  • Exchange Online and Storage:
    • E1: Includes Exchange Online Plan 1, suitable for standard business use.
    • F3: Limited email storage, which is more in line with frontline worker needs.
  • SharePoint and OneDrive Services:
    • E1: Provides full SharePoint access and 1 TB OneDrive storage.
    • F3: Typically offers limited storage and functionality on SharePoint and OneDrive, reflecting the usage pattern of frontline workers.

Top 5 Recommendations for Selecting the Right License

When choosing between Microsoft E1 and F3 licenses, consider these best practices:

  1. Understand User Roles: E1 suits typical office workers, while F3 is tailored for frontline staff with different technology needs.
  2. Evaluate Communication Needs: If email and extensive collaboration tools are crucial, E1 might be more appropriate.
  3. Consider App Requirements: For full Office web applications without desktop versions, both E1 and F3 are viable, but F3 is geared towards more limited use.
  4. Budget Considerations: Compare the costs of each plan against your budget and the features you need.
  5. Avoid Overbuying: Don’t opt for more expensive or feature-rich licenses if simpler ones meet your needs.

Common Pitfalls to Avoid:

  • Overlooking specific user needs and selecting a generalized plan for all.
  • Neglecting to reassess license needs as your organization evolves.

Practical Scenarios: E1 and F3 Use Cases

Practical Scenario  E1 and F3 Use Cases

E1 License Scenarios:

  • Standard Office Environments: Ideal for staff requiring regular access to email, Office web apps, and collaboration tools.
  • Remote Teams: Suitable for teams relying on cloud-based collaboration and communication tools.

F3 License Scenarios:

  • Frontline Workers: Perfect for employees in roles like retail, manufacturing, or healthcare who need essential tools for communication and basic Office functionalities.
  • Limited Technology Requirements: For roles that require minimal interaction with Office apps or lower data storage needs.

FAQs on Microsoft E1 vs F3 Licenses

What are the primary differences between Microsoft E1 and F3 licenses?

The primary differences are that E1 is aimed at typical office workers, offering core Office web apps, email services, and essential collaboration tools like Teams and SharePoint. F3, designed for frontline workers, provides access to basic Office web applications with limited storage and features compared to E1. The primary difference is that E1 is aimed at typical office workers, offering core Office web apps, email services, and essential collaboration tools like Teams and SharePoint.

What is the Microsoft E1 license intended for?

The E1 license is intended for typical office workers who need access to core Office applications, email, and essential collaboration tools to support their day-to-day activities.

What defines a frontline worker for the F3 license?

Frontline workers are employees who are the first point of contact with customers or are directly involved in producing and delivering products and services. The F3 license is tailored to meet their needs with access to essential Office web applications and tools.

Can F3 license users access email and calendar services?

Yes, F3 license users have access to email and calendar services, allowing them to stay connected and organized, albeit with some limitations compared to the E1 license.

What collaboration tools are included in both E1 and F3 licenses?

Both E1 and F3 licenses include Microsoft Teams and SharePoint, facilitating collaboration and communication among team members, although F3 may have some feature limitations.

Are there storage differences between E1 and F3 licenses?

Yes, the F3 license typically offers less storage capacity than the E1 license, reflecting the intended use cases and requirements of frontline workers versus office workers.

Which license is better suited for employees who need full Office desktop apps?

Neither E1 nor F3 licenses include full desktop versions of Office apps. Organizations requiring full desktop apps for their employees should consider other Microsoft 365 licensing options, such as E3 or E5.

How does the F3 license accommodate the unique needs of frontline workers?

The F3 license is designed with frontline workers in mind, providing essential Office web applications and collaboration tools that are easily accessible on various devices, supporting their work’s dynamic and mobile nature.

Is Microsoft Teams functionality the same in E1 and F3 licenses?

Microsoft Teams is available in both E1 and F3 licenses, but the F3 license may have differences in functionality or limitations due to its focus on essential needs and cost-effectiveness.

What are the key considerations when choosing between E1 and F3 licenses?

Key considerations include the user’s role within the organization, the types of applications and services they require, storage needs, and budget constraints. E1 is generally suited for office workers, while F3 is designed for frontline staff.

Can an organization mix E1 and F3 licenses based on user roles?

Yes, organizations can mix E1 and F3 licenses to match the specific needs of different user groups within the same organization, ensuring each user has the tools they need to be productive.

How do licensing costs compare between E1 and F3?

Typically, the F3 license is more cost-effective than E1, reflecting its limited features and storage intended for frontline workers. The exact cost can vary, so reviewing current pricing is recommended.The F3 license is typically

Do both E1 and F3 licenses include access to OneDrive?

Yes, both licenses provide access to OneDrive, although their storage capacity may vary, with F3 offering less storage than E1.

Are there any advanced security features included in E1 or F3 licenses?

While both licenses include basic security features to protect data and users, organizations looking for advanced security capabilities might need to consider additional or higher-tier licensing options.

How should an organization decide which licenses to allocate to employees?

Organizations should assess their employees’ specific needs, roles, and workflows. E1 licenses are best suited for office workers needing broader access to Office web apps and collaboration tools, while F3 licenses are tailored for frontline workers requiring basic access and functionality.


  • Fredrik Filipsson

    Fredrik Filipsson brings two decades of Oracle license management experience, including a nine-year tenure at Oracle and 11 years in Oracle license consulting. His expertise extends across leading IT corporations like IBM, enriching his profile with a broad spectrum of software and cloud projects. Filipsson's proficiency encompasses IBM, SAP, Microsoft, and Salesforce platforms, alongside significant involvement in Microsoft Copilot and AI initiatives, enhancing organizational efficiency.

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