Downgrade from MDE P2 to Defender for Business (M365 E5 to Business Premium)

Copper Contributor

Hi Communnity!


We are thinking about downgrading a customer from E5 to Business Premium + AAD P2 + MDO P2 as Add-ons due to cost savings and the fact that they don't use 95% of the E5 features and are only 200 users.


What do we need to consider regarding MDE P2 switch to Defender for Business? The UI & Experience does not to become simplified, but we don't want to mistreat MSFT license terms. 


In a test we figured out already, that MDE does not recognize a license mix. In Defender Settings > Endpoints > Licenses it only shows MDE P1 or P2, but not Defender for Business.


Any advice?

Thanks a lot!


2 Replies

Hi @DaDomi95,

when tranisitioning from Microsoft Defender for Endpoint Plan 2 (MDE P2) to Defender for Business, there are several key considerations:

  1. Licensing:
    In Defender for Endpoint, a mixed-licensing scenario refers to using a combination of Defender for Endpoint Plan 1 and Plan 2 licenses. While managing subscription settings can accommodate mixed licensing, it's important to note that MDE does not currently recognize a license mix that includes Defender for Business in the Defender Settings > Endpoints > Licenses.
    Manage your Microsoft Defender for Endpoint subscription settings across client devices | Microsoft ...
    MS Defender mixed licensing - Microsoft Community Hub

  2. Migration Process:
    To do the migration from MDE P2 to Defender for Business, there are comprehensive guides available to assist with preparation, setup, and device onboarding.
    Migrate to Microsoft Defender for Endpoint - Prepare | Microsoft Learn
    Migrate to Microsoft Defender for Endpoint - Setup | Microsoft Learn
    Migration and setup guides to move to Microsoft Defender for Endpoint | Microsoft Learn

  3. Configuration:
    During the migration, organizations typically begin with their existing non-Microsoft antivirus/antimalware protection in active mode. Subsequently, Microsoft Defender Antivirus is configured in passive mode, and additional Defender for Endpoint features are set up.
    Migrate to Microsoft Defender for Endpoint from non-Microsoft endpoint protection | Microsoft Learn

For the broader transition from Microsoft 365 E5 to Business Premium, Microsoft 365 Business Premium offers an extensive suite of productivity and collaboration tools tailored for small and medium-sized businesses with up to 300 users. If your user base exceeds 300, exploring enterprise-level solutions is recommended. Microsoft provides a guide for upgrading or changing to a different Microsoft 365 for business plan.
Upgrade or change to a different Microsoft 365 for business plan | Microsoft Learn


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Kindest regards,

Leon Pavesic

Thanks @LeonPavesic for your reply! But the articles you linked I know already and are mentioning the upgrade path - not the downgrade.


Still your point 1. is also my knowledge. MDE seems not to support a mix between MDE and Defender for Business truly.