That's the heart of the leak OSDL head Stuart Cohen gave our Andrew Donoghue recently.
"I would not be surprised to see them [Microsoft] participate in software that runs on top of Linux in the future," he said. (Nudge, nudge, wink wink, say no more!)
Microsoft is increasingly losing opportunities because its key applications don't appear in the Linux space. Question is, if they were out there, would people be flocking to them?
Assume for a moment that, say, a year from now (or thereabouts) the next version of Office appears for Linux over at Fry's (or BestBuy, or some other shop you frequent). Say it has the same price it does under Windows, about $500. Assume you've got a Linux desktop to feed, and you do business with people in the Windows world all the time.
Are you going to bite? It's Linux, but not open source. (There's lots of that stuff around.) It's Microsoft, so it's got to be good, right? (Stop snickering.)
OK, let's assume you've got your employer's checkbook with you. Do you buy it now?
Are there any Microsoft applications you would buy tomorrow if they came out on Linux? Or does having Linux mean you've divorced everything Microsoft for all time?
Personally, I would consider it. I would compare the latest version of Office to things like Open Office, and I would consider it.
But for now that is all I would do.