Microsoft Office for Linux?
"Baby Bills". This is likely to happen some time, but we yet don't know
when. At the time this column was written, this hadn't happened, so this
issue may be slightly out of date when you read this, though, somehow, I
don't think it might happen in a hurry. The reason being Microsoft will
try extremely hard to not allow this to happen and this will definitely
delay the issue.
But, when it does, the Applications Software Division will be working
independently, as a separate company. It will support not only Windows,
but also all the other popular platforms, which hold revenue potential for
them. Remember, then it would also be competing with the Operating System
Division of Microsoft and other Office suites to survive on its own. If
that happens, Office for Linux will surely see the light of day.
Now, the other side of the coin! If MS Office is not released for Linux,
other Office suites will gain in popularity. Among the top four Office
suites, two are already available for Linux - Corel Office and Star
Office. There are others, too, like Applixware. These suites are not only
very good but are getting better by the day. They offer enough features to
fill the appetite of most users. In fact, some of those features are not
even there in MS Office. If they continue on their popularity uptrend, we
might never need MS Office for Linux at all!
And, even if Microsoft then decides to release its Office suite for Linux,
it will have a great deal of catching up to do in terms of market-share.
That's because, unlike Windows - where they have a lock over the operating
system and they have a monopoly - Linux is a fair playground!
Prakash Advani is the Founder and CEO of FreeOS.com. He can be contacted