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.




User Comments: 8

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Guest said:

I would recommend checking your sources once again, or at least put a finger to the ground. Why on earth should Microsoft spend as much as a penny on developing anything for an operating system yet to acchieve more than 1% market share on the desktop, and with a user base that are not willing to install anything unless they get it for free? Sorry to say, but this rumour is a falsum. Enough said.

EEatGDL said:

Maybe just install Wine and then Office over it?

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

This is not going to happen...

captainawesome captainawesome said:

I would be SOOO happy if they did this. What with steam coming to give us some decent titles on the OS. Now if only we could get better drivers for things like Sound, graphics, keyboards and mouse's.

With that said. I do not see this happening. Atleast not for 3 years.

This would undeniably strengthen Linux' position in the desktop market not to mention the distro's which Office will be compatible with.

Guest said:

I think this is quite possible, as stated in the article many governments have switched or are in the process of switching to Linux. Linux is becoming more popular and it's another market Microsoft could use in attempt to keeps it's dominance.

Trillionsin Trillionsin said:

Wine...

Or just use libreoffice if you cant configure Wine to work. Does Open Office work with linux? I dont remember. Not watching the topic.

I would be SOOO happy if they did this. What with steam coming to give us some decent titles on the OS. Now if only we could get better drivers for things like Sound, graphics, keyboards and mouse's.

With that said. I do not see this happening. Atleast not for 3 years.

This would undeniably strengthen Linux' position in the desktop market not to mention the distro's which Office will be compatible with.

The closer we get to that point... well who knows.... They might decide to close up Ubuntu 12.04 LTE, and make people pay for it. Then we all move to the next best free version of linux, lmao

1 person liked this | TJGeezer said:

Wine...

Or just use libreoffice if you cant configure Wine to work. Does Open Office work with linux? I dont remember. Not watching the topic.

.... They might decide to close up Ubuntu 12.04 LTE, and make people pay for it. Then we all move to the next best free version of linux, lmao

Office 7 and 10 work with Wine, LibreOffice and OpenOffice work fine with docx files under Linux, as does Google Drive's online word processor if your editorial chores are simple and you don't need to record changes and edits by multiple users, etc. As for Ubuntu being the best Linux distribution, more people now are using Mint, which is remarkably like using Windows 7 and quite stable. Lots of good distributions for more *nix-savvy users. All MS issuing a Linux version of office would do for me is let me use Linux all the time instead of only most of the time.

robynsveil robynsveil said:

Why WINE?

I use MS Office 2000 - don't care for the ribbon and the cost of upgrading - particularly Excel for the VBA which, in LibreOffice, is not quite there. I run a very stripped-down flavour of Win7 Home Edition in VirtualBox and run Photoshop and Office in that environment quite nicely. I can even copy and paste back and forth from Mint to Win7... reasonably easy to set up and quite stable.

I've tried WINE for Poser 7 way back when, and wasn't happy with the behaviour... maybe I should give it another chance, but I did try CrossOver recently with Poser Pro 2012 and it didn't ... didn't. Some stuff just doesn't happen. TBH, PoserPro doesn't work well in VirtualBox either because of the hardware acceleration issue, so I dual-boot to Win7 when I want to get into Poser.

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