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Microsoft Announces Expanded Options for Firstline Worker License

Microsoft has added to the options for firstline workers with a “new” Microsoft F1 license. But wait, its not quite that simple: the old Microsoft 365 F1 license is now “F3,” and the old Office 365 F1 is now F3.

Spoiler Alert: Microsoft shifts the nomenclature of licenses again.

Microsoft has added to the options for firstline workers with a “new” Microsoft F1 license. But wait, its not quite that simple: the old Microsoft 365 F1 license is now “F3,” and the old Office 365 F1 is now F3. Still with us? If not, here’s a quick summary of the changes:

Old Name New Name Price
Office 365 F1 Office 365 F3 $4/user/month
Microsoft 365 F1 Microsoft 365 F3 $10/user/month
Not Applicable Microsoft 365 F1 $4/user/month

In all seriousness, while this is somewhat confusing, it is kind of a good thing. The new Microsoft 365 F1 license embraces a firstline world where e-mail and OneDrive are not needed, and all communications are essentially done through Teams and SharePoint. Their aim is to help organizations connect firstline workers with the rest of the company and close long-standing technology gaps that often separate these workers from the tools, resources and expertise they need to do their best work. Additionally, this allows organizations to prioritize employee experience of all workers and to empower firstline workers with apps and services to enable them to increase productivity, simplify communication and support greater self-service. Take a look at the following chart of the new license capabilities:

Service Features M365 F1 M365 F3 O365 F1
Price $4/u/m $10/u/m $4/u/m
EM+S Microsoft Intune
Azure AD P1
SMS Sign in and Shared Device Sign Out
Adv. Threat Analytics
Azure Info Protect P1
Windows Windows 10 E31
Windows Virtual Desktop Rights
Office 365 Microsoft Teams
Shifts, Tasks, Walkie Talkie
Yammer, SharePoint2
Office Web, Office Mobile3 Read Only
OneDrive for Business 2GB
Exchange email4 2GB
Power Automate
  • 6
Power Apps


  • 6




  1. Windows 10 E3 per user includes cloud management and virtualization
  2. Cannot be administrators. No site mailbox. No personal site. Cannot create forms. 2gb/user, 10GB shared storage
  3. Commercial use of mobile apps limited to devices with integrated screens 10.1” diagonally or less
  4. No Outlook Desktop Integration. No voicemail.
  5. Includes consumption only. No publish/share.
  6. 2000 steps/day

Use Cases

There are countless examples of ways that the new licenses can be deployed to support various use-cases, including those highlighted in this blog. In addition, here are a couple of our own.

Hotel Front Desk

Front desk workers at hotels spend almost all of their time in the hotel’s property management system. This system controls everything from reservations, to guess services, to check-in/check-out. E-mail is so diminished in this scenario, that some employees don’t even get an e-mail account. The new Microsoft 365 F1 license allows these employees to be integrated into the team by leveraging the power of Teams. Scheduling can be managed in shifts, ongoing updates can be communicated in Conversations, and Walkie Talkie can facilitate provide real-time voice communication.

Government Contractors

Many government contractors hire personnel to support on-site government functions. These employees spend their day at the government location, using a government device, and working on government networks. Very little, if any, daily communication occurs with their employer. With the rise of cybersecurity standards, many companies are looking for ways to actively prevent the flow of confidential information through traditional channels like e-mail. The new Microsoft 365 F1 license would allow employees to be part of an internal Team which can provide updates, announcements, etc, but prohibit the user from being able to share information outside the organization. (note: at this time, the new license is not yet available, in GCC High, but we expect it shortly.)

Multi-company Proposals

In today’s hyper-collaborative world, many proposals are answered by a team of several companies. These teaming arrangements are common in many government contracts and require a secure space where people from multiple companies can collaborate and share information. The new Microsoft 365 F1 license could allow the prime contractor to provide short-term identities to their teaming partners, thereby allowing them to work on the project while restricting their access to only a portion of the network. They could limit participation to just the project Team(s) without providing an e-mail address or other capabilities.

This approach becomes even more powerful when combined with Azure Windows Virtual Desktop as this would allow these temporary workers access to a full desktop environment, greatly expanding their ability to contribute to the overall solution.

Do you have a use case for these licenses?

We’re working with Microsoft to develop case studies that showcase the practical ways that our clients leverage the capabilities of Microsoft 365. In our C3 Pilot Program, we provide deeply discounted, and in some cases, free resources to develop a concept into a strategy. If you have a use case that you want to explore, contact us at {email}