Microsoft, your smart conversion optimization isn’t that smart

Microsoft for Mac
Microsoft for Mac

Update: A Microsoft employee contacted me this morning (september 5th) and forwarded the issue to the appropriate team. He will keep me informed of future steps. Thanks guys, for the quick reply!

My little sister just bought a Mac. As she just started out in university, she needed Word, Excel and Powerpoint. Mainly because most of her teachers and future classmates will be using this software.

So, we set out to get her the Microsoft Office suite for Mac. Microsoft has a neat page set up on their website at to showcase their product offering for Apple/Mac users. I really like the page. It’s clear, appreciates Mac users and explains what Microsoft’s offering is. I actually felt like Microsoft wanted to build a relationship with us, as future clients. Smart, especially because Mac users tend to be sceptic about Microsoft and their products.

But when we actually wanted to buy something, things got less friendly.

I’ll take you through our sales process.

Step 1 is simple, it makes us choose between either the Home & Student edition or Business edition. While my sister is a student, this is a no-brainer.

Buy Microsoft Office for Mac - Step 1

Then, step 2. A pretty intrusive and misleading page. Consumers that don’t pay close attention will be tempted to press the large ‘buy now’ button instead of clicking the small ‘No thanks’ or ‘close’ texts. Resulting in buying a business edition of Microsoft Office instead of the Home edition they intended to buy. Yes, that’s a great way to upsell, but it’s an even better way to annoy your customers.

Buy Microsoft Office for Mac - Step 2

But it gets even more annoying in step 3. Without asking, Microsoft added ‘Extended Download Service’ for 12.99 dollars. Because, without asking or me showing any sign of needing it ‘Now purchasing software online is more convenient than ever. Our Extended Download Service frees you from the time-consuming โ€” but critical โ€” chore of backing up your new software’.

Buy Microsoft Office for Mac - Step 3

I guess it makes total sense in conversion optimization. Pretty sure quite some people will have bought the business edition in step 2. And added the EDS in step 3. To figure out later they didn’t needed these products.

Well, Microsoft, thanks, but no thanks. In one single sales process, you aggressively tried to sell me two products we don’t need. To make things even worse: I just bought a MacBook Pro. My brother just bought his first MacBook Air. My parents just bought their third MacBook Pro. Guess where we won’t be buying any software.
Instead of making 150 dollars out of this sales process, you lost 800 dollars in sales.

Please, Microsoft, you make it really hard to love you this way.

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