The Linux operating system has made huge inroads over the last two decades. Now it looks like Microsoft might finally be realizing the sales potential of the open source system.
According to a source at ExtremeTech the software giant is evaluating the potential of Microsoft Office for Linux. If the rumor is correct the new OS version could launch sometime in 2014.
A source close to the project says Microsoft is taking a “meaningful look” at a release for Linux.
At this time Microsoft is solidly footed in the .NET universe but an open source version of MS Office could allow the company to further align with open source developers.
Microsoft is in desperate need for a stronger open source developer base as the company attempts to fight off growing competition from the likes of Open Office, Google Docs and other emerging competitors in the free and freemium spaces.
ExtremeTech attended the FOSDEM open source conference in Brussels last week and attendees revealed that Microsoft is finally beginning to realize the potential for an open sourced platform in terms of profitability.
Gravitating towards Linux makes sense as Microsoft is already believed to be working on a version of Office for Android. Google built its super popular Android OS off the Linux backbone and Microsoft could port some information from that build to a new Linux version of Office.
According to the report:
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.
In the meantime Microsoft will need to convince the Linux community to invest in the new application. While Microsoft has never offered an Office for Linux OS, the company has invested in Linux based programs in order to help the open source community develop.