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Microsoft today launched a marketing campaign pitting Office 2019 and Office 365 against each other. The goal? To prove Office 2019 isn’t worth buying — you and your company should go with Office 365 instead.

In a series of three videos, twins Jeremy and Nathan calculate the differences in Excel, Cynni and Tanny present their findings in PowerPoint, while Scott and Sean type it out in Word. The ads are cringe-worthy, to say the least, but they do get the point across.

When Microsoft announced Office 2019 in September 2017, the company said the productivity suite was “for customers who aren’t yet ready for the cloud.” And when Microsoft launched Office 2019 in September 2018, the company promised it wouldn’t be the last: “We’re committed to another on-premises release in the future.”


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And yet, Microsoft would much rather you join the ranks of Office 365’s 33.3 million subscribers. If you must, Office 2019 is available for purchase. But Office 365 is really what the company wants you to buy.

This of course isn’t the first time that Microsoft has compared its on-premises version of Office to its cloud-powered cousin. But this year, the company is hoping to win over enterprises to the cloud with AI features.

Here is Microsoft 365 corporate vice president Jared Spataro comparing the two (emphasis ours):

Office 365 includes fully-installed Office applications — the latest versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. But those apps keep getting better over time, with new capabilities delivered every month. Most importantly, Office 365 is connected to the cloud, so you can access your content from any device, coauthor with anyone in real-time (regardless of whether or not they’ve purchased a copy of Office) and use the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to create impactful content with less effort. On the flipside, Office 2019 also delivers full installs of the Office apps we know and love — but they’re “frozen in time.” They don’t ever get updated with new features, and they’re not cloud-connected. Also, Office 2019 doesn’t support real-time coauthoring across apps, and it doesn’t have the amazing AI-powered capabilities that come with Office 365.

Microsoft could offer these AI features in Office 2019. But it’s the cloud that makes them possible, and Office 365 is the cloud version of the productivity suite.

In other words, “if the cloud hasn’t won you over yet, we hope AI will.”

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