Microsoft said to be considering a native version of Office for Linux

By on February 7, 2013, 5:30 PM

I've dabbled with Linux countless times over the last decade, and besides the obvious learning curve that comes with permanently changing operating systems, I've mostly stuck with Windows because of support for games and Microsoft Office -- particularly Word. The same is true for many folks I've talk to.

With Valve's recent push toward bringing Steam and its extensive catalog of titles to Linux, gaming on the open source OS could be a non-issue in the near future, and based on a report by Phoronix this week, Linux users may soon have access to a fully native version of Microsoft's productivity suite.

A source talking to Phoronix staffer Michael Larabel during the Free Open-Source Developers' European Meeting (FOSDEM) in Brussels last weekend reportedly said that Microsoft is having a "meaningful look" at providing a full Linux port of Office because the OS is gaining commercial viability on the desktop.

This is apparently especially true among various government agencies and other large organizations that have been converting to Linux, forcing them to use LibreOffice or OpenOffice, which many consider less polished than Microsoft's paid solution. The alternative is trying to use Office via Wine or CrossOver.

Microsoft is said to already have a Linux build of Office internally, though it's not clear how finished it is. We'd definitely take all this with a grain of salt, but it's worth noting that Office is also expected to hit Android and iOS, and expanding to more platforms jibes with the company's new subscription model.

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