Microsoft has decided to demonstrate the worth of its flagship Office 365 subscription by pitting it against its flagship Office 2019 product in a bizzaro productivity face-off.
Redmond has punted out a series of ads where the Office giant pits twins against each other in a series of tasks aimed at demonstrating that while Office 2019 is frozen in time, Office 365 keeps getting updates.
The twins are tasked with activities designed to show off the tweaks the subscription-based product has had over the months, such as listing US state capitals. Intriguingly, Microsoft did not think to challenge the participants to work out how to switch off data collection.
Nor did it suggest a compare-and-contrast on uptime.
The twins were also not set the task of working out which would be cheaper over a period of time – the one-off cost of Office 2019 versus the ongoing subs of the 365 incarnation. In the UK, for example, a one-off Office 2019 Home and Student costs £119.99, while a personal version of Office 365 is £59.99 per year.
In his post, corporate veep for Microsoft 365 Jared Spataro skipped the prices, instead declaring "Office 365 crushes Office 2019" since the former is continually updated and has had a stroking from the cloudy tickle-stick while the latter is "frozen in time" (although still patched when security issues crop up, we hasten to add). As such, the company took the "unprecedented" step of pitting its own productivity suites against each other.
The reaction of commentators has been somewhat negative.
Up next: McDonalds tell us why Big Macs are terrible compared to McChicken Sandwiches.— Mark Gardiner (@mar_gar_ine) February 7, 2019
As for the response from competing office suites not made within the bowels of Microsoft? Version 6.2 of LibreOffice is due to put in an appearance today, free of charge. ®