Now this is a watershed moment — Microsoft is looking at offering a Linux version of Office in 2014.
According to ExtremeTech, Microsoft is taking a “meaningful look” at releasing a full Linux port of Office in 2014. That would be quite something and it makes perfect sense. It’s apparent that Office, as proprietary software, will not regain the luster of its enterprise glory years. Open sourcing Office gives the company a window, no pun intended, into collaborating with a developer community outside the .NET universe.
Extreme Tech reports that rumors of the Linux version of Office surfaced last weekend at FOSDEM, the open source conference held annually in Brussels. Sources there told ExtremeTech that the meaningful consideration is prompted by Microsoft’s realization that Linux may be a viable commercial opportunity after all.
It also stems from Microsoft’s plans to develop a version of Office for Android to work on mobile devices. According to ExtremeTech:
Android, as you may already know, is a Linux-based operating system, meaning a lot of the porting work will have already been done — it shouldn’t take too much effort to take the next step and bring Office to Ubuntu, or whichever distro Microsoft favors.
Microsoft has never offered a Linux version of its software.
Here’s what I think about this development: Stuff it all you bastards who say Linux does not have commercial viability. Microsoft is looking at open sourcing its crown jewel.
A Note: Several people have remarked that software can be ported to Linux without open-sourcing it. That is true but still we have no clear idea what Microsoft plans to do. It may not open-source Office or it may decide to open it up to one and all. We just don’t know. Stay tuned.