Microsoft used to offer this free Office 365 Business Essentials (Basic) Engineering Feedback Program to some of users. It includes online versions of Office with email, instant messaging, HD video conferencing, plus 1TB personal file storage and sharing for at most 10 users. . 

Unfortunately, not everyone will receive it from their admin portal. There is a way to get this offer even it is not showing to your account.

This post is to show the steps which might let you get 10 free Business Basic Office 365 subscription.

Other ways to get free M365 subscription:
2. Education Account- Azure for Students! – $100 credit/Year.

Note: This offer is still valid based on my testing on May 2022. It will be auto renewed annually with $0. Feedback from users are positive,  but I am not sure if it will be forever. No credit card required though. 

Introduction

Product details
Microsoft 365 Business Basic Engineering Feedback Program includes10 licenses with annual renewal for free.

• Host email with a 50 GB mailbox and custom email domain address.

• Create a hub for teamwork to connect people using Microsoft Teams.

• Use Office apps for the web, including Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.

• Store and share files with 1 TB of OneDrive cloud storage per user.

• Facilitate online meetings and video conferencing for up to 300 users.

• Get help anytime with around-the-clock phone and web support from Microsoft.

More details:

It is $7.70 user/month for an annual subscription, which is listing price at Microsoft website:

Here is a comparing for all four Microsoft 365 business plans:

Now we can have the business basic plan subscription for 10 users with 0$. 
To do that, you will need an account which you have Global Admin permission in your own AAD. Else, you will get a following error message while you are trying to have a business subscription using a work/school account. 

In this case, what you need to do is to create a new Global Admin account after you add a custom domain into your own personal AAD. 

Add custom domain into Azure Active Directory

 

1 Log into Azure portal

You can use your personal Azure account if your work/school account is not having global admin role.

2 After logged in Azure portal, click Manage Azure Active Direcotry

3 Since this subscription is for business, it will require a business email address to log in and order M365 business plan. 

We will click Custom domain names on your left panel, then add a custom domain

4 Add a custom domain

5 Verify domain

6 Add Txt record from your domain registrar website. 

I am using Cloudflare to manage dns records.

4 Completed to add a custom domain

Purchase M365 Business Basic with 0$

 1 Create a new Global Admin user from AAD

2 Assign a global admin role

3 Purchase subscription using this URL

4 It will ask you to log in to office 365 website using your work/school email. You can use the one we just created to log in.
5 Choose 10 users for license then order it with annual renew for 0$

6 Click Check Out Now

7 Payment method – Inovice

Troubleshooting


Before assign a license to user, you will need to assign a usage location to this user. Else, you will get following error

“License not assgined”

details:

License cannot be assigned to a user without a usage location specified.

Edit user and assign a country to the usage location:

After this step, you should be able to assign the license to your user:

You might get an invoice notification, but the price is $0. 

And the process seems able to be repeated. You can do it multiple times to get more license than just 10 to use. 

Azure Subscription VS Microsoft 365 (Office 365) Subscription

Microsoft Online business services, such as Microsoft 365 or Microsoft Azure, require Azure AD for sign-in activities and to help with identity protection. If you subscribe to any Microsoft Online business service, you automatically get Azure AD with access to all the free features.
When a user signs up for a Microsoft cloud service, a new Azure AD tenant is created and the user is made a member of the Global Administrator role. 
All of your users have a single home directory for authentication. Your users can also be guests in other directories. You can see both the home and guest directories for each user in Azure AD.

Microsoft 365 and Azure use the Azure AD service to manage users and subscriptions. The Azure directory is like a container in which you can group users and subscriptions. To use the same user accounts for your Azure and Microsoft 365 subscriptions, you need to make sure that the Azure subscriptions are created in the same directory as the Microsoft 365 subscriptions. Keep in mind the following points:

  • A subscription gets created under a directory
  • Users belong to directories
  • A subscription lands in the directory of the user who creates the subscription. So your Microsoft 365 subscription is tied to the same account as your Azure subscription.
  • Azure subscriptions are owned by individual users in the directory
  • Microsoft 365 subscriptions are owned by the directory itself. Users with the right permissions within the directory can manage these subscriptions.

Screenshot that shows the relationship of the directory, users, and subscriptions.


If you’re Azure subscriber, you can use your Azure account to sign up for a Microsoft 365 subscription. If you’re part of an organization that has an Azure subscription, you can create Microsoft 365 subscriptions for users in your existing Azure Active Directory (Azure AD). Sign up for Microsoft 365 using an account that has Global Admin or Billing Admin permissions in your Azure Active Directory tenant.

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By netsec

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