Microsoft says you shouldn't buy its awful software

Redmond, for some bizarre reason, releases ads that mock Office 2019. It wants you to buy Office 365 instead.
Written by Chris Matyszczyk, Contributing Writer

But one of them has really terrible software from Microsoft.

Screenshot by ZDNet

Remember those brilliant Get a Mac ads from Apple?

The ones that mocked Microsoft without mercy, until the company looked like a sad bunch of pitiful nerds who'd never enjoy a happy -- or even normal -- life?

Also: Microsoft Office 365 for business: Everything you need to know

Well, this is nothing like that. Not much, at least.

Instead, it's Microsoft attempting to denigrate not Apple, but its own software.

In a series of three ads, the company feels the need to tell you that Office 2019 -- the Mac version of which currently costs $150 -- is a pathetically slow, ponderously incomplete bag of thoughtlessness.

The shtick here is that we have three sets of identical twins. They're here to prove that Office 2019 and Office 365 aren't identical.

That's almost Van Gogh-level creativity.

In one, the twins compete using Excel. Their task? To fill out a spreadsheet featuring all 50 states.

The pressure is enormous. Somehow, the twin using Office 365 prevails. And skips to celebrate.

In another ad, we have two identical-twin sisters whose task is to make an incomplete presentation perfect, using PowerPoint.

You'll never guess which sister wins. Well, according to the ad, only one of the sisters had intelligent features -- thanks to Office 365.

The final ad, which by now you're desperate to see, stars identical twin brothers competing to see who can use Word to polish a resume and start a job search.

This one has a big twist. I wish.

I've posted all three here to see whether you, too, enjoy the obviously natural sense of competition between the twins. And to wonder whether the music irritates the skin off your ears as much as it does mine.

I also wonder why Microsoft would attempt to denigrate its own product in favor of another one of its own products. Other, that is, than to hope it can move more people onto Office 365, which is a subscription service starting at $70 a year.

There's another thing that bothers me.

Also: Microsoft is readying a consumer Microsoft 365 subscription bundle

How do we know that, in the case of each of these sets of twins, one isn't far less intelligent than the other?

What a ruse it would be if Microsoft simply gave Office 365 to the more mentally agile twin and lumped the (allegedly) bad software with the markedly less gifted one.

Advertising. You just can't trust it, can you?

In Memoriam: All the consumer products Microsoft has killed off

Related stories:

Editorial standards