Office 365 plans for small companies – unnatural limits?

Microsoft has unwittingly (or not) created a long term problem for me. Right now, I expend the grand sum of EUR6.35 monthly for a single Office 365 Plan P1 subscription. I think that this is terrific value but then again, I don’t have to buy Microsoft Office as Microsoft kindly gives me access to that program through the MVP program. Thus, I happily use Outlook as my day-to-day client, backed up with a blast of Gmail just to keep all options open. All quite sufficient for a single person company.

However, what would happen if my small wee company suddenly expanded and I had to deal with many employees? Suddenly I’d find that Microsoft doesn’t facilitate an upgrade from Plan P1, which is deemed to be the plan best suited for professionals and small companies, to one of the E plans, designed for enterprises. Apparently Microsoft believes that the demarcation between a small company and an enterprise occurs when 25 people or so are involved in a business (the upper limit for Plan P1 for any tenant domain is 50). If I was successful, I’d face the fact that I’d have to basically reset my involvement with Office 365 and start over with Plan E.

This seems like an oversight on Microsoft’s part. I am sure that they have some sense of their own company’s history and recollect that while Plan P1 would have been great for Bill Gates and Paul Allen when they were writing BASIC for the Altair in Albuquerque, it wouldn’t have been so good when the fledgling Microsoft Corporation touched down in Redmond. Maybe Bill Gates would have accepted the logic that determined that his company couldn’t move forward with a service, but maybe not.

In any case, more of my ramblings on the topic can be found on, including the essential differences between Plan P1 and Plan E* and why these might be important to a deployment of Office 365.

Have fun,



About Tony Redmond

Lead author for the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook and writer about all aspects of the Office 365 ecosystem.
This entry was posted in Cloud, Office 365 and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Office 365 plans for small companies – unnatural limits?

  1. My understanding is that it’s 50 objects in the tenant. So, if you have 5 employees and 45 groups, then that’s your 50.

  2. Joe Mendes says:

    Hi Tony, I attened your session in Las Vegas on Tuesday, (Why Microsoft’s head is in the cloud). Would it be possible to get a copy of that presentation? I didin’t see it on the devconnections website. Thanks -Joe (

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