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Report: Microsoft Mulling Office for Linux for Next Year

By - Source: Phoronix | B 26 comments

Let the countdown to 2014 begin.

Microsoft is said to be considering releasing a version of Office for Linux. Phoronix reports that Microsoft is taking a 'meaningful look' at producing Office for Linux in 2014.

Earlier this week, Michael Larabel, founder of Phoronix, tweeted that he had heard Microsoft was looking into producing Office for Linux next year. Larabel expanded on that tweet in a blog post published on Phoronix this week. According to Larabel, the information comes from a source he spoke to during the Free Open-Source Developers' European Meeting (FOSDEM) this past weekend. This source told Larabel that Microsoft is taking a "meaningful look" at a full port of Office for Linux. The reason for Microsoft's increased interest in Linux is apparently due to Linux showing signs of commercial viability on the desktop.

Indeed, with Microsoft rumored to working on Office for Android, the idea of Office for Linux is pretty plausible (the Android OS is itself based on Linux).

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  • 19 Hide
    twelve25 , February 7, 2013 8:27 PM
    I can't see Linux users being willing to pay $100-400 for an office suite.
Other Comments
  • 9 Hide
    Anonymous , February 7, 2013 8:12 PM
    Whats wrong with Libre Office?
  • 9 Hide
    Anonymous , February 7, 2013 8:14 PM
    Ever tried to exchange non-trivial documents with people using Office on Windows?
  • 16 Hide
    Anonymous , February 7, 2013 8:22 PM
    Quote:
    Whats wrong with Libre Office?

    It doesn't make MS any money, duh.
  • 19 Hide
    twelve25 , February 7, 2013 8:27 PM
    I can't see Linux users being willing to pay $100-400 for an office suite.
  • 9 Hide
    jhansonxi , February 7, 2013 8:39 PM
    Twelve25I can't see Linux users being willing to pay $100-400 for an office suite.
    Business users who are already running Office one Wine or CrossOver Office would prefer a native version. But for many people, web-based solutions are adequate:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_word_processors#Online
  • 8 Hide
    itookmypills , February 7, 2013 8:51 PM
    I still wouldn't use it. LibreOffice meets, and exceeds, my needs.
  • 9 Hide
    AndrewMD , February 7, 2013 9:01 PM
    itookmypillsI still wouldn't use it. LibreOffice meets, and exceeds, my needs.


    Microsoft is not targeting people like you. If you like Libre Office then continue to use it. However for clients that need 100% compatibility will seek the investment into Microsoft's Office for Linux.
  • 2 Hide
    toadhammer , February 7, 2013 9:11 PM
    igorSDEver tried to exchange non-trivial documents with people using Office on Windows?


    AndrewMDMicrosoft is not targeting people like you. If you like Libre Office then continue to use it. However for clients that need 100% compatibility will seek the investment into Microsoft's Office for Linux.


    As igorSD and AndrewMD implied, if you have both ms and libre trading edits, strange things start happening to documents. That's not acceptable for businesses or anyone who cares what the end result actually looks like (document templates, publishing, etc).
  • -4 Hide
    twelve25 , February 7, 2013 10:05 PM
    It's still a TINY market.
  • 2 Hide
    antilycus , February 7, 2013 10:22 PM
    Twelve25It's still a TINY market.

    Try again, linux is, by far, the most used operating system in the world.

    toadhammerAs igorSD and AndrewMD implied, if you have both ms and libre trading edits, strange things start happening to documents. That's not acceptable for businesses or anyone who cares what the end result actually looks like (document templates, publishing, etc).

    I've been doing this for years without a single problem. Creating, open and edit, change, MS Office 2003, 2007 AND 2010/12 without anyone ever complaining. While I am sure there are people out there that have issues, Microsoft is the problem here, not the answer. Open Document system was created for a reason, Microsoft needs to get off their high horse and businesses need to be smarter about who they hire or contract to design their I.T. systems. MS is on it's way the door. The only people that don't want to believe that are I.T. admins for windows networks, ones that are of the mind set (if something new comes out, we have to get it, its only a matter of it). It's that mind set that has destroyed computers in business today.

    Long and skinny, Libre Office is a massive threat to Microsoft and they are trying to make it dissappear by creating an Office suite for Linux, even though it already has a great one (which happens to be free).
  • 5 Hide
    twisted politiks , February 7, 2013 10:27 PM
    AndrewMDMicrosoft is not targeting people like you. If you like Libre Office then continue to use it. However for clients that need 100% compatibility will seek the investment into Microsoft's Office for Linux.


    I doubt they will have 100% compatibility. I worked in graphic design for 5 years, using both Windows and Mac. We had Office for both, and even then you would find errors transferring between the two operating systems. Font would change, spacing would change, size would change, and don't even get me started on Power Point.

    Hopefully Microsoft does a better job bringing Office over to Linux than it has done with Mac.
  • 4 Hide
    boiler1990 , February 7, 2013 10:32 PM
    The only thing I specifically use Windows for are games and Office (need the mathematical equations). Now that Steam is expanding to Linux and Office may move over as well, I could potentially not need Windows any longer...
  • 0 Hide
    susyque747 , February 8, 2013 12:13 AM
    unixDistroWhats wrong with Libre Office?

    Nothing and all I can say good luck selling it to any Linux user, LOL.
  • 5 Hide
    kronos_cornelius , February 8, 2013 12:13 AM
    I am more interested in seen Adobe products on Linux.
  • -4 Hide
    susyque747 , February 8, 2013 12:24 AM
    kronos_corneliusI am more interested in seen Adobe products on Linux.

    I second that. Adobe is a Canadian company.
  • -1 Hide
    Rhinofart , February 8, 2013 12:55 AM
    antilycusTry again, linux is, by far, the most used operating system in the world.I've been doing this for years without a single problem. Creating, open and edit, change, MS Office 2003, 2007 AND 2010/12 without anyone ever complaining. While I am sure there are people out there that have issues, Microsoft is the problem here, not the answer. Open Document system was created for a reason, Microsoft needs to get off their high horse and businesses need to be smarter about who they hire or contract to design their I.T. systems. MS is on it's way the door. The only people that don't want to believe that are I.T. admins for windows networks, ones that are of the mind set (if something new comes out, we have to get it, its only a matter of it). It's that mind set that has destroyed computers in business today.Long and skinny, Libre Office is a massive threat to Microsoft and they are trying to make it dissappear by creating an Office suite for Linux, even though it already has a great one (which happens to be free).


    I'm sorry. It took me a few minutes to stop laughing. There is no way that Linux is the most widely user OS in the world. And there is also no way Microsoft is even close to being on it's way out the door. Especially in the Business world. The computing world in the business sector is dominated by Microsoft. I mean seriously dominated. *nix has made great strides. There is no doubt about that. We use a fair number of Suse, and Redhat servers at work, and they work damn well. No question. BUT, when it comes down to productivity, and interoperability, there is nothing in the *nix world that comes close to how well the Microsoft ecosystem meshes. With the wide scope of software out there that business uses, trying to get it all to play nicely between flavours of Linux would be (and is) a nightmare. We have several sandboxes setup just to play with that sort of thing. Plus the existing software would all have to be re-written for linux. And I'm not talking about having it run on WINE either. Running native. That's a several Billion or more expense I really don't see the companies of the world taking on. And don't even make the joke about having open source communities do it. Sure, in some cases it could be done quicker. But most businesses don't just buy a product. They buy the support for that product. If a prod server or application is down, business wants it back up NOW or sooner. They want a dedicated support team to help them. Not some community of developers who'll get to it after their done their pizza. Our *nix admins here at work are damn smart. Their command of Linux and Unix is fantastic, and even they are smart enough to know Linux's limitations. They know it's next to impossible to have over 600 servers supporting almost 10,000 workstations all running linux, with the wide variety of software we use for daily business.

    I've been an IT Admin for almost 20 years now, and I can tell you, there is no hope in hades of Microsoft going out the door anytime soon. And no I'm not an M$ fanboi. I support the Microsoft platform at work, but I have been a Mac / Unix guy at home for quite a few years now. The only people who think Linux will rule the world in the next decade are naieve "stick it to the man" types of kids.
  • 0 Hide
    southernshark , February 8, 2013 1:22 AM
    I see Android as a real threat to MS and it is based off of Linux. I'm not sure why Google does not offer Android on its laptops instead of the gimp Chrome OS which most people don't want.
  • 0 Hide
    SGTgimpy , February 8, 2013 2:35 AM
    southernsharkI see Android as a real threat to MS and it is based off of Linux. I'm not sure why Google does not offer Android on its laptops instead of the gimp Chrome OS which most people don't want.


    You just kind of answered your own question. Android is a utility OS not a full blown OS. Just like iOS, Android is made for a very specific platform and does not have all the required backend systems to make it a full blown OS. Sure Google could spend the time and money to develop the Chrome OS into a more real, full functional OS but they would be going against their own business model of cloud apps and storage.

    Linux is a great OS for a very specific purpose. As a general purpose OS like Windows, it is not even close and this is what a lot people do not understand.

    I have been support large fortune 500 companies for a long time and we use Linux in servers because of its reliability, but to get that server to that level of reliability. It takes a crap load of time to harden the OS to make it that stable and when you do. It will never be used for anything else but that one purpose. Also anyone that loves Linux and says it can beat Windows in business. Then I invite you to try to support 5000 PC running Linux with no Active Directory and see how long you still say that.

    I like Linux, but I understand its place. The problem with Linux is that it's greatest strength (its openness) is also it's greats weakness.
  • 0 Hide
    kewlmunky , February 8, 2013 5:07 AM
    I'm on windows and I use Open Office ^_^
  • -2 Hide
    Anonymous , February 8, 2013 6:09 AM
    igorSDEver tried to exchange non-trivial documents with people using Office on Windows?

    works fine for me and everyone I know. PP word docs and everything
    you must be using a old version of open Office rotfl
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