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Microsoft aims 365 at an enormous overlooked market – front-line workers

Gregg Keizer | Sept. 27, 2017
With its new Microsoft 365 F1 subscription, the company plans to target millions of employees on the front lines of their organisations.

Although it's unclear whether the Windows 10 Enterprise license bundled with F1 is locked down in the same way as Windows 10 S - meaning it can access only those apps offered in the Windows Store - it is apparent that it's not the full Enterprise as corporate IT professionals understand it.

Only some of the advanced features and tools normally included in Enterprise are available in the OS offered with F1. Credential Guard is, for instance, but Windows Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) is not. From all indications, F1's Windows 10 Enterprise has most of what's included with the license offered to M365 Enterprise E3 subscribers.

Computerworld found another sign that the Windows 10 Enterprise included with F1 is not the same as Windows 10 Enterprise in S mode. The partner FAQ pointed out that several components of the former - Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics and Credential Guard, for example - are not available in the latter.

What's Microsoft after with M365 F1? Money. Potentially, a lot of money.

The company told partners that their opportunities in the "firstline" market are enormous. "A study commissioned by Microsoft shows that there are ~690 [million] Firstline Workers in enterprise organizations with 500+ employees," the company told resellers.

In the same presentation, Microsoft made it even plainer. "The size of the Firstline Worker employee base is significantly greater than the corresponding number of knowledge workers within these organizations and we have only scratched the surface of capitalizing on this very significant opportunity," the firm contended.


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