The Twin Challenge: Office 2019 vs. Office 365 is a Strange Marketing Choice

This past week, Microsoft launched a new (and strange) campaign designed to clear up confusion between two similar products, Office 2019 and Office 365, using twins to deliver the analogy. And I am not alone in thinking this campaign is strange. Just check out some of the comments on their twitter thread.

They are not the first to use twins, though, as an example to help clarify the difference between the two versions of Office. Even I have often referred to Office 2019 and Office 365 as twins or siblings in my own training. In fact, my recent PowerPoint Tips and Tricks course from and LinkedIn Learning uses twins to help explain the difference—that even though they look similar, they have very different personalities and should be treated as unique and separate entities (just like people) in order to avoid confusion when one program updates or receives a new feature and the other does not.

However, what Microsoft is doing here with this Twin Challenge is not in the same spirit. What started as a campaign to let users compare the features of both products and help users decide for themselves which is better, Microsoft has turned this analogy into a “which one is better?” competition, pitting one product against the other (and therefore pitting actual people or twins against one another), implying that one product (or twin) is superior to the other.

I assure you, readers, this is not true.

Office 365 and Office 2019 are BOTH great products, each with its own unique pros and cons depending on your own individual or company-specific needs.

Without getting bogged down into too many details…

Office 365 is great for

  • Fast learners
  • People who need cloud storage
  • People who have multiple computers or devices


Office 2019 is great for individuals who

  • Don’t want to pay a lot of money (over time)
  • Only really need Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
  • Don’t like things “moving around” on them


Now, I do not work for Microsoft directly, but full disclosure, I do make a living teaching people how to use Microsoft products and services, as well as other competitor applications and services too. But if you are thinking about purchasing Office 2019 or Office 365 and can’t decide which one you should buy, feel free to contact me. I’d be happy to help in any way that I can.

In the meantime, before Microsoft (hopefully) pulls the campaign from its website, check it out and see what you think: