Microsoft Office For Linux Would Be A Good Thing

Microsoft Office for LinuxLet’s start all this out with a disclaimer. I don’t think that Microsoft is going to be releasing a Linux version of Office any time soon. I’m even skeptical of the idea that Microsoft might put out an Android or iOS version of Office, though that seems significantly more likely than a desktop Linux version. But let’s set aside that skepticism for a few minutes and assume that Office is coming to Linux. I think that Microsoft Office for Linux would be a good thing, and here’s a couple of reasons why…

Momentum: Microsoft Office is a boulder in the software market. It’s hard to get it rolling when it’s standing still, but once it’s going, it’s hard to stop. It also drags a lot of other, smaller stones along with it. If Microsoft Office were to move to Linux, there’s no telling how many other products that are currently Windows only it would bring along with it.

Dropping Barriers: Microsoft Office is one of the biggest barriers to business adoption of Linux. I’m sure every business would prefer to spend their money in ways that don’t include buying Windows licenses, and buying Office Licenses, and AntiVirus software, etc. Linux offers all of that, but Office is so ingrained in the business market, it’s hard to get around. Even with many very good alternatives available it’s a hard sale to make. Without Office standing in the way of Linux, I think that Linux adoption would sky rocket.

It Hurts No-one: The argument could be made that Microsoft Office for Linux would hurt other products. I disagree. Quite the contrary, I think that Microsoft Office for Linux could actually help out other office products. First, like I said earlier, it would drop barriers to Linux itself. Once more people are using Linux and seeing that FOSS is not the horrible ogre that Microsoft has made it out to be in their often published FUD, I think people would be more open to FOSS alternatives in places other than their OS. Consider the small business where a single license of Microsoft Office for Linux would be enough for verification purposes and the remainder of the employees could utilize a free product like LibreOffice. Today, all those people are using Windows and Office for Windows.

Do We Really Need Microsoft Office for Linux?

This is the really big question in all of this. The truest answer is also the shortest one. No. We don’t need Microsoft Office for Linux. Linux has managed to do just fine over the last couple decades, and Microsoft Office or not, Linux will continue to do well. We’ve already seen Linux take over over 40% of the computing market without Office being available. There are other really great Office products available for Linux that more than fill Microsoft’s shoes in the Linux market. Having Microsoft Office won’t slow Linux’s progress in any way, but it does have the possibility of giving it a push.

I won’t be disappointed if Microsoft Office for Linux turns out to be more rumor than real. Honestly I expect that’s the case anyway, but I do think that Microsoft Office for Linux would be a good thing in the end. What do you think? Tell us in the comments section…

Microsoft Office For Linux Would Be A Good Thing
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  • françois kevin Bile Ebelle

    As you said, Linux has already succeeded to take over 40% of the computing market without Office. So I don’t think that Office for Linux is the next big revolution in this field. In addition, the fact is that Windows 8 is not going to achieve Microsoft’s expected goals in sells, and the public too don’t really want it, because of the fracture between the previous Microsoft OSs and the new bull. … Even on tablets, people are reluctant to give a chance to Windows 8. Microsoft’s strategy aims to extend the availability of its products to remain a leader in this field. We must remember that Office is the best selling of Microsoft and its OS which are supposed to host Office have serious difficulty to be sold, especially his latest brainwave. Failing to sell its OS, it tries to extend its outreach to remain a leader in the field of office solutions.

    We have LibreOffice … And at this moment, OpenOffice returns in force under the name Apache OpenOffice 3.4.1. Without forgetting Abiword … So I don’t think that we, Linux Users, need a heavy and binding application like Office. And to go further, I don’t think that Office for Linux has its place…