Microsoft goes after… Microsoft in bizarre Office 365 vs. Office 2019 ads

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While nowhere near as aggressive and prolific in the Apple-bashing advertising arena as Samsung, Microsoft has been known to occasionally promote its products by ridiculing the competition, sometimes hitting the mark and sometimes not.

But in its latest attempt to hype a flagship service, the Redmond-based software giant has chosen a new and wholly unexpected target for its not-so-subtle mockery. Believe it or not, Microsoft is going after… Microsoft in a trio of Office 365 commercials disguised as “challenges” meant to disparage… Office 2019.

The whole thing is almost too surreal to be true, but we’ve checked multiple times and the three videos, ranging in duration from 84 to 102 seconds, are indeed uploaded to the official, verified Microsoft Office 365 YouTube channel.

Their shtick is fairly predictable and unimaginative, pitting three pairs of identical twins against one another as they attempt to complete various tasks in PowerPoint, Word, and Excel.

The point Microsoft is so obviously trying to make is that the versions of the three apps included in the company’s Office 365 bundles are vastly superior to the “classic” variations separately sold in exchange for a one-time home & student fee of $149.99.

That may well be the case, courtesy of several “intelligent” Word and PowerPoint features exclusively available for 365 users, as well as Excel data types that are capable of pulling information in automatically as long as you’re willing to pay a monthly or yearly subscription.

But where does that leave the Office 2019 package? Microsoft is not just admitting the inferior quality of that product, essentially questioning its very raison d’etre. That’s highly unusual for a company that clearly favors one of these two services, but also continues to sell the other.

This advertising angle seems weird if you think about all the ways Office 365 could have been promoted instead too. After all, this is a subscription that includes all the popular productivity-focused Office apps for use on PCs, Macs, Androids, and iOS devices, with exclusive new features added every month, not to mention free OneDrive cloud storage, Skype minutes, and other cool perks. 

The whole thing is not even that pricey, starting at $69.95 a year for personal use, although that can obviously add up to a lot more than what you’d pay for Office 2019.

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