Microsoft Philippines just launched MS Office 2013 yesterday and today ExtremeTech is reporting that Microsoft is considering to release a full port of MS Office for Linux by 2014.
This rumor stems from a source in Brussels, Belgium, who spoke to Phoronix’s Michael Larabel at FOSDEM, one of Europe’s larger open source conferences. According to this source, who is presumably one of Microsoft’s open source developers, Microsoft is taking a “meaningful look” at releasing a full Linux port of Office in 2014. The sudden change of heart is apparently due to Linux showing “commercial viability,” and because Microsoft is reportedly already working on Office for Android. 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.
The plan to release a Linux version of Office will be a double-edge sword; since revenue wise Microsoft will be able to grab any large chunk of Linux/Android market, on the other hand Microsoft may lose their best (or only) selling point to market their tablet/ Mobile OS to consumers.
According to Tom’s Hardware; Linux has 42% marketshare of mobile platform – and that would be in the form of Google’s Android alone.
Last modified: February 7, 2013