This is a very common question of organization’s and IT administrators that “What license do I need for intune”, and the answer is not simple until unless we are aware of all the options available and the features they provide.

Based upon our requirement and budget, we first need to explore the options that are available, once we compare and figure out what is important for our organization then we can take the decision.

Intune license Types

Intune license is include under following products:

  • Microsoft 365 E5
  • Microsoft 365 E3
  • Enterprise Mobility + Security E5
  • Enterprise Mobility + Security E3
  • Microsoft 365 Business Premium
  • Microsoft 365 F1
  • Microsoft 365 F3
  • Microsoft 365 Government G5
  • Microsoft 365 Government G3
  • Intune for Education (Microsoft 365 Education A5 / A3)

But to simplify it, I will device it into 3 broader categories:

Device-only Subscription

This is intune Device only license subscription which costs $2. This kind of license applies per device. There are lots of limitations with this license as it doesn’t have capabilities such as Azure AD Premium P1 (AADP1) or P2 (AADP2), hence it cannot be the features such as MDM auto-enrollment and Dynamic Groups.

Cost: Subscription is available for $2 a month per device

Microsoft Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS)

This is a standalone version of EMS and Security suite which comes in 2 flavours:

Enterprise Mobility + Security E3

This subscription meets the basic requirement for intune and the recommended one. There are features available as Azure Active Directory Premium P1 (AADP1)
Cost: $10.60 / user / month

Enterprise Mobility + Security E5

This subscription covers everything we have in E3 and top of it, it does have AADP2 (Premium 2) version with advanced identity protection and privileged identity-management capabilities. If you are more concern about Microsoft Cloud App Security feature, you need to go with this.

Cost: $16.40 / user / month

For more details check the link

Microsoft 365

Microsoft 365 subscription is a complete suite consists of everything we have in Enterprise Mobility  + Security , and other products includes: Office 365, Windows 10. Hence, you can consider it like a bundled suite if you are willing for multiple options in a single subscription rather than going individually for each product.

Microsoft 365 E3Microsoft 365 E5
Office 365 E3Office 365 E5
Windows 10 Enterprise E3Windows 10 Enterprise E5
Enterprise Mobility + Security E3Enterprise Mobility + Security E5

Note: Windows 10 Enterprise E3 / E5 are same version of OS ie Enterprise Edition. The difference is: E5 includes advanced protection against modern security threats.

Microsoft 365 E3

This can be compared with EMS E3 suite with additional Microsoft Office 365, Windows 10, OneDrive, AADP1 etc. If you wanted to have Office 365 also, then it is a recommended plan as it includes cost for Office 365 as well as Windows 10

Cost: $32 / user / month

Microsoft 365 E5

This can be compared with EMS E5 suite with Office 365, Windows 10, AADP2 etc. Having additional support for Analytics with Power BI Pro, Microsoft 365 Defender related products, Cloud App Security & Built-in third party connections and others.

Cost: $57 / user / month

Check the link for details comparison.

Conclusion

As we can see there are lots of subscriptions available for MEM (Microsoft Endpoint Manager) which might cause confusion for lots of us. But to simply, Device-only subscription is the least preferred one, used case scenarios could be manage kiosks, phone-room devices.

Enterprise Mobility Security E3 / E5 is the recommended one, the difference between E3 / E5 is related to additional features for App security and few advance features.

Microsoft 365 will be best suited for a complete suite consists of EMS E3 / E5 + Windows 10 Enterprise E3 / E5 + Microsoft Office 365. This could be a money saving subscription if you are after mentioned options as a single package.

Useful Links

Licenses available for Microsoft Intune | Microsoft Docs

Purchase device licenses in Microsoft Intune – Intune | Microsoft Docs

Enterprise Mobility and Security Pricing Options (microsoft.com)

Microsoft 365 Apps | Microsoft Licensing Resources

Home | Microsoft Licensing Resources