A series of new adverts by Microsoft called “The Twins Challenge” shows a pair of twins, one working on Office 2019 and the other Office 365. In one advert both are working on a PowerPoint presentation. The twin using Office 365 finishes first. Why? Because Office 365 PowerPoint has more features than the Office 2019 version.
Microsoft wants everyone to embrace Office 365. The “Twins Challenge” advert clearly shows that Microsoft thinks an Office 365 subscription is vastly preferable and more beneficial to an Office 2019 licence. A key reason is because Office 365 gets upgraded more frequently than Office 2019 with extra features.
Office 2019 is what Microsoft is calling a “perpetual” version of Office which many still see as the “on-premises” version or a lifetime licence. It is purchased as a one-off payment with no subscription, but it comes without most of the cloud-connected features of Office 365 and can realistically be regarded as a sub-set of Office 365.
For individual users Office 2019 may provide all the features they need, but for business users Office 365 has all-important extra features. Office 2019 is for individuals who dislike subscriptions and for those who prefer to work offline, yet some people have suggested Microsoft will eventually, like Adobe, stop selling perpetual licenses of its applications, but Microsoft has not confirmed this.
Microsoft continues to offer perpetual licenses for Office 2019, but as their adverts show, they definitely recommend everyone subscribe to Office 365.
Office 2019 will continue to be updated for the foreseeable future, but most updates will be more security-based. Office 365 updates on an almost monthly basis adding features such as artificial intelligence and optical character recognition in PowerPoint which are missing from Office 2019.
Microsoft 365 corporate vice president Jared Spataro gave some reasons to prefer Office 365:
“Office 365 is connected to the cloud, so you can access your content from any device, co-author 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 more impactful content with less effort.”
The “Twins Challenge” adverts do not compare costs. A perpetual version of Office 2019 for business costs £249.99 and a basic subscription for Office 365 is £7.90 a month or £94.80 a year. At first, this seems that it should make financial sense to make a one-off purchase, as after around two and a half years a perpetual licence works out cheaper, but as Microsoft’s advertising shows, it is not comparing like for like (the Twins Challenge advert points out that Office 2019 PowerPoint has fewer features than the Office 365 version.
Many businesses need more than a basic subscription to Office 365; they need the collaboration features of SharePoint and Teams that aren’t found in Office 2019.
At WM Reply, we believe subscribing to Office 365 and other Microsoft collaboration tools is worthwhile for myriad reasons, including increasing worker productivity and creating better-organised workplaces. To find out more about how Office 365 could enhance your business, get in touch with WM Reply.