How Do Recent Microsoft 365 Announcements affect Microsoft 365 Business? – Part 3 Office 365 Business vs. Office 365 ProPlus


Back when the announcement of the Microsoft 365 Business April 2018 Update was announced one of the things that surprised and/or confused me was the addition of Azure Information Protection (AIP) and Exchange Online Archiving (EOA). It's not that thought they were strange choices, instead my thoughts were based on the fact that at the time, these were capabilities that couldn't be exposed through the included Office 365 Business client. At that point in time you would have needed Office 365 ProPlus to expose those features in the Office desktop apps.

With the release of recent builds of Office 365 Click-to-Run this has changed. Take a look at the following screenshots, which is a recent build of Office 365 Business.

O365B
Office 365 Business installed as part of Microsoft 365 Business

Where things get interesting is now Azure Information Protection rights management capabilities are exposed natively in the apps, as you might be used to in Office 365 ProPlus. Previously you would have had to set AIP restrictions on the file itself with the AIP client. If you want the labelling and additional AIP client capabilities, you should still install this, preferably via the single file MSI deployment capability of Intune. See the bottom of this post for instructions on how to automate that with Microsoft Graph.

O365BAIP
The same Office 365 Business install, but now with AIP/IRM integration

The other capability that we now see light up inside of the Office 365 Business Premium client is Online Archives. I don't know about you, but when I need to access archives, I want to do it in Outlook. I've been using Outlook and its predecessors for a very long time, and it would take something astounding to make me switch away.

O365BPEOA
Online Archive via Office 365 Business Premium.

The table below is what I've extracted and interpreted from the Office Applications Service Description. This is a much smaller list of differences between what Business is capable of versus what we can do with ProPlus. If I've missed anything or gotten anything wrong, let me know, but what we end up with are either some of the advanced capabilities or licensing benefits that ProPlus provides, such as running in Remote Desktop Services.

Office 365 Business Premium (as part of Microsoft 365 Business) Office 365 Enterprise E3
Database Compare No Yes
Desktop virtualization No Yes
Excel Spreadsheet Compare No Yes
Excel Spreadsheet Inquire No Yes
Group Policy support No Yes
Office Telemetry No Yes
Power Map for Excel No Yes
Power Query for Excel No Yes
Power View for Excel No Yes
Shared computer activation No Yes
Support for blocking cloud-based file storage No Yes

In the last post I covered using PowerShell and the Graph API to add Teams to your tenant, you can follow the instructions from that post, but add these lines instead or as well as the Teams deployment elements and you will be ready to deploy the AIP Client out to Intune managed Windows PCs.

####################################################
 
#### Install Microsoft AIP
$output = "$PSScriptRoot\AZInfoProtection_MSI_for_central_deployment.msi"
Start-BitsTransfer -Source https://download.microsoft.com/download/4/9/1/491251F7-46BA-46EC-B2B5-099155DD3C27/AZInfoProtection_MSI_for_central_deployment.msi -Destination $output
Upload-MSILob "$output" -publisher "Microsoft" -description "Microsoft AIP"

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