Rumor: Microsoft looking into a 2014 Office for Linux release

If the latest rumor is to be believed, Microsoft is apparently having a "meaningful look" into producing a full native port of Office to Linux, with 2014 being a possible launch year. Open source veteran Michael Larabel heard from a source at the Free and Open source Software Developers' European Meeting (FOSDEM) about Microsoft's plans, with reason being that Linux is "showing signs of commercial viability on the desktop."

Speculation is that Office for Android will serve as a stepping stone for Office on Linux desktop computers, as porting a portion of the software for Google's Linux-based OS will make it a lot easier to bring the full software to Linux. Microsoft already has experience with Linux; they have a department that specializes in maintaining Hyper-V virtualization compatibility, as well as a version of Skype for Linux.

Larabel will not be surprised if there are "many doubters" for plans to bring Office to Linux, as it seems like an unlikely target for Microsoft to spend resources on considering the low market share of Linux. However, the guy was right about Valve bringing Steam to Linux, so it remains to be seen if Office will be seen on the platform.

Source: Phoronix via: ExtremeTech

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Infact... I hope the rumor comes true... In 12 years my all organization that I worked had a mix operating system environment and we always had a issue with Office documents. Most of the developers worked in linux cause our products were using linux in core solution while most of the management was in Windows.
There could be another angel to Microsoft's move as well.... Microsoft are already feeling the pressure from Google as Google Docs reduced the demand for the Office product suite. Google docs are accessible on almost every device and operating now. With more and more devices under its belt google is spreading its documents. Microsoft definitely can feel the heat and its old strategy of keeping some OS away may not work. Some of the small business I know have already taken a full fledged google solution for there business and that includes google docs/email/calendar/drive/picasa in just $50/user/year. No more IT dept cost, no more need to setup servers and it takes less than 3 minutes to signin. Microsoft is definitely seeing this and would like to counter this. They have just launched a office 365 and with office on linux they are going to keep the linux users under their belt.
And I will anyday select MS office over google docs if it is available on Linux. However we should thank google for the pressure that they are putting on Microsoft for making the right moves.

Some good references:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...ft-office-365_n_887181.html
http://www.forbes.com/sites/ew...ake-android-on-the-desktop/
http://articles.marketwatch.co...gle-spokesman-google-threat

This is not a bad move. People who switch from Windows to Linux are going to do so anyway. By providing Office for Linux, Microsoft gets some revenue back.

they are not porting it to Linux. They're most likely adding support for Linux for Office 365. Right now it is not officially supported but works in the browser. Lync for example doesn't work. The integration stuff with the desktop also doesn't work. A port makes absolutely zero sense. Office 365 makes total sense.

Ok, I'll bite. Assuming this is even true, which it probably isn't, Office makes them an obscene amount of money. How is it desperate? Just curious.

I would absolutely love for this to be true.. but somehow I just can't believe it. A lot of people use Windows purely for Office.. assuming Linux destops continue to improve in quality and usability, they'd potentially scythe Windows market share quite badly - I just can't see Microsoft being so stupid.

governments are switching from win+office to linux+libreoffice so they need to make a linux version soon otherwise there will be a drastic loss of income from government contracts. This is why office 2013 has full opendocument 2.0 compliance as governments are requiring that. Microsoft released office for mac to cater for their users, i'm sure they will cater for linux too. Don't expect them to bring visual studio.net or directx to linux though.

yeah, the german government where some backroll happened too and the brazilian but that project is in developer hell

i don't know if you ever WORKED with libreoffice (not shopping lists and some silly little school work with a bold title being the most difficult formating task), so like actual work... it's slow, unreliable, the menu system is a mess and impress is objectively a tragedy

to be honest that java-based snail will never be a real alternative of MSO, might work for home users and small businesses with no money at all, but for doing serious work it is as good as a typewriter

torrentthief said,
governments are switching from win+office to linux+libreoffice so they need to make a linux version soon otherwise there will be a drastic loss of income from government contracts.

I'm sure that loss will be helped by the governments that switched back after it didn't work out for them... probably not quite so drastic as some would make it out to be.

showing signs of commercial viability on the desktop

Everything this guy says is now invalid. Rumor = dismissed- absolutely no foundation for belief ie complete bogus.

ingramator said,

Everything this guy says is now invalid. Rumor = dismissed- absolutely no foundation for belief ie complete bogus.

I heard Microsoft were writing it in Java and were giving free coffee to anyone who buys it while their annual licensed subscription lasts! There was talk about eating a donkey too, but I think that might have just been one of the cleaners coughing..

ingramator said,

Everything this guy says is now invalid. Rumor = dismissed- absolutely no foundation for belief ie complete bogus.

The rest of the sentence just makes it even less credible.


Open source veteran Michael Larabel heard from a source at the Free and Open source Software Developers' European Meeting ...

Translation: Two open-source guys got together at an open-source meeting and said, "Gee, wouldn't it be funny if we started a rumor about Microsoft Office for Linux?"

And you know what? They were right. It is funny. It's funny that people at Neowin are actually discussing this, rather than questioning its accuracy.

n_K said,
Nah, why'd they do that when they're trying to shift everyone to office 365?

I fully expect that we will not see perpetual licenses for 'Office for Linux'. I expect it'll only be available as part of an Office365 subscription, and that way Microsoft maximises their revenue and profit from Linux users.

No way. This would be a life saver for Linux users. Running Office through WINE is unreliable. And there's nothing out there that compares to Office. Office is one of the reasons why I still need to use Windows everyday.

68k said,
Office is one of the reasons why I still need to use Windows everyday.

Which is exactly why this is a mistake for Microsoft. =)

I'm currently using Win XP/7 and Office 2007 - they do everything I need, and therefore I won't be upgrading anytime soon to the latest versions.

However, I would be happy to purchase an Office 365 subscription or product license for Office on Linux (meaning a bit more money for Microsoft!).

I wonder which has greater consumer sales: Office or Windows?

rfirth said,
Talk about a huge mistake...
I don't think it is. They are expanding their market. On the other hand, most of the people who use windows will still continue using it since they probably use other software which is windows only; there will be a few who are not that bound to Windows, and now can switch to whatever OS they want and still have access to Office.

68k said,
No way. This would be a life saver for Linux users. Running Office through WINE is unreliable. And there's nothing out there that compares to Office. Office is one of the reasons why I still need to use Windows everyday.

Huge mistake for Microsoft. One of the main reasons as you've pointed out is lack of Office in Linux. If you're a business, you go with Office just because you expect it to work with other businesses that use office, and of course your staff get to go on training missions.

A lot of bigger businesses, even the government have tried or have switched to Linux in the past. Most of the problems have been with users trying to battle with the office alternatives, and the like.

It could certainly be the boost Linux wants on the desktop making the Ubuntu phone one step closer to the all in one mobile desktop and phone a reality for Android users but at the same time, yet another kick in the teeth for Windows Phone and Microsoft's hold on the desktop market that's slowly dripping away anyway as it gives rise to mobile computing.

Still, they're quite good at pre-empting, so they might already have Office for Linux up and running 'just in case'.

sagum said,

Huge mistake for Microsoft. One of the main reasons as you've pointed out is lack of Office in Linux. If you're a business, you go with Office just because you expect it to work with other businesses that use office, and of course your staff get to go on training missions.

A lot of bigger businesses, even the government have tried or have switched to Linux in the past. Most of the problems have been with users trying to battle with the office alternatives, and the like.

It could certainly be the boost Linux wants on the desktop making the Ubuntu phone one step closer to the all in one mobile desktop and phone a reality for Android users but at the same time, yet another kick in the teeth for Windows Phone and Microsoft's hold on the desktop market that's slowly dripping away anyway as it gives rise to mobile computing.

Still, they're quite good at pre-empting, so they might already have Office for Linux up and running 'just in case'.

Office is the cash cow, not Windows. Linux might take some share away from Windows, but not that much. It would only be a plus for MS.