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Microsoft A3 vs. Microsoft A5 — What's the Difference?

Edited by Tayyaba Rehman — By Fiza Rafique — Published on December 23, 2023
Microsoft A3 and Microsoft A5 are licensing tiers for Microsoft 365 Education. Microsoft A3 offers core tools and security, while Microsoft A5 provides advanced analytics, security features, and voice capabilities.
Microsoft A3 vs. Microsoft A5 — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Microsoft A3 and Microsoft A5


Key Differences

Microsoft A3 is a licensing option under the Microsoft 365 Education suite. It primarily aims to offer educational institutions a comprehensive set of tools and applications to enhance collaboration, productivity, and learning. Microsoft A3 provides core features necessary for classroom and administrative tasks.
On the other hand, Microsoft A5, also under the Microsoft 365 Education suite, offers more advanced features than Microsoft A3. Microsoft A5 is designed for institutions requiring advanced security, analytics, and voice capabilities. While it encompasses everything Microsoft A3 offers, it also brings additional benefits, mainly in the realms of security and communication.
Choosing between Microsoft A3 and Microsoft A5 will largely depend on the specific needs of an educational institution. Microsoft A3 offers a solid foundation for educational tasks with essential applications like Office and basic security features. However, institutions that prioritize advanced security measures, detailed analytics, or enhanced communication tools might find Microsoft A5 more fitting.
While both Microsoft A3 and Microsoft A5 play a pivotal role in modernizing education and fostering a collaborative environment, their distinctions lie in the depth of features and tools they provide. Thus, understanding these differences is crucial for educational entities when determining which licensing tier aligns best with their operational requirements and goals.

Comparison Chart

Core Tools

Offers essential Office apps
Includes everything in A3 plus more


Standard security features
Advanced security and compliance features


Basic analytics
Advanced analytics with Power BI Pro

Voice Capabilities

Not included
Includes Phone System and Audio Conferencing

Price Point

Generally more affordable
Pricier due to advanced features

Compare with Definitions

Microsoft A3

A licensing option for Microsoft 365 Education.
Many schools opt for Microsoft A3 to provide essential tools for their students.

Microsoft A5

An advanced licensing tier of Microsoft 365 Education.
Universities with a focus on research might opt for Microsoft A5.

Microsoft A3

A comprehensive digital solution for classroom tasks.
With Microsoft A3, teachers can easily share resources with their students.

Microsoft A5

A premium choice for institutions requiring comprehensive tools.
With Microsoft A5, schools can integrate telephony solutions seamlessly.

Microsoft A3

A tier offering core productivity tools and security.
Microsoft A3 covers the fundamental needs of most educational institutions.

Microsoft A5

An all-encompassing solution for modern educational needs.
Microsoft A5 ensures institutions have access to cutting-edge security features.

Microsoft A3

An option focused on foundational applications and features.
Microsoft A3 is often chosen for its balance of functionality and affordability.

Microsoft A5

Incorporates advanced communication and collaboration features.
The advanced tools in Microsoft A5 promote a more connected educational environment.

Microsoft A3

A tier encompassing basic Office apps and collaboration tools.
Schools using Microsoft A3 benefit from tools like Word, Excel, and Teams.

Microsoft A5

Offers enhanced security, analytics, and voice features.
Microsoft A5 provides institutions with tools for in-depth data analysis.

Common Curiosities

Can Microsoft A3 users upgrade to Microsoft A5?

Yes, institutions can upgrade from Microsoft A3 to Microsoft A5 if they require additional features.

Does Microsoft A5 include everything in A3?

Yes, Microsoft A5 encompasses all features of Microsoft A3 and adds more.

Are Office apps included in both tiers?

Yes, core Office apps are included in both Microsoft A3 and Microsoft A5.

What is Microsoft A3?

Microsoft A3 is a licensing tier under Microsoft 365 Education offering core tools and security features.

How is Microsoft A5 different?

Microsoft A5 offers advanced security, analytics, and voice capabilities, beyond what A3 provides.

Which tier is more affordable?

Microsoft A3 is generally more affordable than Microsoft A5.

Which tier is better for large universities?

Larger universities might prefer Microsoft A5 due to its advanced features, but it depends on specific needs.

Who should opt for Microsoft A5?

Institutions requiring advanced analytics, superior security, or voice features should consider Microsoft A5.

Is advanced analytics available in Microsoft A3?

No, advanced analytics with Power BI Pro is a feature of Microsoft A5.

Do both tiers offer voice capabilities?

Only Microsoft A5 includes voice capabilities like Phone System and Audio Conferencing.

Are both tiers suitable for educational institutions?

Yes, both Microsoft A3 and Microsoft A5 are designed to cater to the needs of educational entities.

Can institutions switch between tiers?

Yes, institutions can switch between Microsoft A3 and Microsoft A5 based on their evolving needs.

Which tier offers better security?

Microsoft A5 provides more advanced security and compliance features than Microsoft A3.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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