Would you buy MS Office for Linux?

Would you buy MS Office for Linux?

Summary: 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?

TOPICS: Microsoft
MS Office 12

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.

Topic: Microsoft

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  • I am not sure about Office..

    but if Microsoft made a windows manager for X that would run Windows programs, I would buy that in a heartbeat.

    Office on Linux would be nice as long as you are not trying to use any of the "automation" features. We have a few programs that interact with Office and I am not sure how they would translate to Linux. And I really don't think Office is worth the price they charge. But that is just my opinion.
    Patrick Jones
  • the price

    if MS Office for Linux exists, then cost of Linux Office would be more than the sum of the cost of Windows and Office.
  • Not interested, thank you...

    Yes, I can see the possibility of MS launching Office for Linux, but I think it's a wise move. Of course, OpenOffice.org is a primary reason, but I have turned a lot of people on to another solution, a solution that doesn't get a lot of press... AbiWord and Gnumeric. Microsoft should understand that if someone has made the smart decision to go Linux then there might be an issue with Microsoft software in the first place.

    In reality, I'd love to see MS make a truly native version of MS Office for Linux, spend a lot of money developing it and marketing it, and then have no one buy it. That would be the ultimate scenario.
  • applications and linux

    If I could get all the applications that I have on my windows desktop for linux, I would run exclusively linux in a heartbeat. MS office is okay because I know how to run it and learned on it, but not any great shakes as a word processor. It would be cool though if you could run linux in the office and save on antivirus, windows liscensing, spyware programs, plus having to buy a supercomputer to run all the extra crap.
  • never buy anything Microsoft

    If Microsoft produces any software for Linux, it will degrade the quality of Linux. Like most of their products, it will be insecure and damage the integrity of Linux.

    Even on Windows, never use Microsoft's products, use open source software like OpenOffice, FireFox, etc.

    It's really not about Linux vs. Windows, rather Open source vs. proprietary
  • Client apps such as Office, they wouldn't risk it

    One of the road blocks to Linux desktop migration is that MS Office does not run on it and the fact that Open Office supports most of MS's Office file formats is not important. For MS to make a copy of Office for Linux available would be the same as MS endorsing Linux, do you really think that MS wants to sacrifice it's cash cow?

    Also, I feel that MS is more concerned about the server market than the desktop market and so I believe that if MS were to start offering products it would be in the server market such as MS SQL Server. MS SQL Server might become available for Linux as in that market SQL Server type apps with an equivalent feature set are generally competitively priced (read: not free). Although MySQL comes with most Linux distros it does not have the full feature set that MS and Oracle SQL Servers have so that is not the same market.
  • Comments on the posts...

    My bet is that the Linux (open source) community is to closed minded to even consider using a best of breed product if it's not "open source". Tis the nature of zealots...
    • Zealots and know-it-alls like me

      Yes, us zealots might think twice about using such products... oh, wait, Oracle and Peoplesoft products aren't open source, and I use them (and tout them).
    • Best of Breed

      I would not consider Office to be "best of breed." It is more like "best of good enough." Word is nice for specifications, but when we do proposals that have more than 5 or 6 pictures, you might as well count of having a slow day. And that is on a P4 3G with 1G memory.
      Patrick Jones
    • Bet lost

      As usual, Don comments on the comments before reading them:

      [i]My bet is that the Linux (open source) community is to closed minded to even consider using a best of breed product if it's not "open source".[/i]

      Of the six posts preceding Don's, three were varying degrees of "yes, I'd buy it," one was "depends on price," one was a qualified "no" based on doubt that MS would actually do such a thing.

      Only one was an unqualified "no."

      Great predictive powers, Don, even after the fact.
      Yagotta B. Kidding
      • Kreskin he ain't

        Wow, second time within a week No Ax tries to predict how the
        talkbacks will go and twice in a row he's been dead wrong.
        tic swayback
      • I don't beleive that he was predicting the discussion on the forum

        He was making a comment regarding the OS community in general, which I believe is actuate. Most people in the open source community dislike MS software simply because it is from MS; it seems more like hobby or religion to them than anything else.
        • Because?

          [i]Most people in the open source community dislike MS software simply because it is from MS; it seems more like hobby or religion to them than anything else.[/i]

          "Because" is reaching quite a bit. In my case, I don't use MS software because it's failed me too many times at home. At work, I use *nix because it's the platform for the tools I [b]must[/b] use and adequate for everything else.

          As for MSOffice, it's OK as a word processor and spreadsheet package, although the quality and reliability isn't really on a par with professional tools.

          OpenOffice has its own issues, but on balance is about equal at a lower price. Considering that using OpenOffice instead of MSOffice saves a couple of square meters of scarce desktop space, noise, and several hundred dollars in IT costs per month I'm willing to do without MS' better outlining.

          I rather suspect I'm more typical than any of the foaming-at-the-mouth types that the NBM crowd like to portray as representative.
          Yagotta B. Kidding
        • Then why the title?

          ---I don't beleive that he was predicting the discussion on the

          Yet he titled it "Comments on the posts", so presumably, one
          would think he was making comments on the posts.
          tic swayback
        • That's funny..

          because many of the OS people I know are not that way. Many of us use it at work, and at home. My dislike of Microsoft stems from their business practices. I don't like their sofware because I think it is average at best. I feel the same way about any software company that did the same. AutoCAD is another software company that I think produces sub-par software. I probably dislike AutoDesk just as much, if not more, than Microsoft. Although that one may be too close to call :)
          Patrick Jones
      • Deffinitly Not Best of Breed....

        Most deffinitly not best of breed, but it is however a good tool. I think most people who think otherwise are deffinitly fooling themselves to think it isn't... How many people actually use all the features in it in order to determine whether it's good or not? Most people just use it for word processing, and making reports or proposals and even at best. Most of those documents are made with simple structure.

        For people on a budget, OpenOffice is your tool of choice. I have implemented Open Office into a couple small businesses already just for the sole reason that it costs the business absolutely nothing to use it.

        As for paying for Office on linux? Why? Seriously... Linux is an open source product, with open source tools that are capable of doing what they need to do.

        The only reason people go to office today (rather than any alternatives) isn't because "it's best of breed". It's because "client xxxx" uses it so I have to stay with them.

        Most just get sucked into the fray.

        Either way, doesn't matter to me.. Whether you go Open Office or MS Office for Linux.. I just think bringing it to Linux will be futile since most linux users are "hardcore" users who want to get away from MS, or merely want the stability MS doesn't have... They know more about the OS then your "MCSE" does in windows.
    • Just being practical.

      Closed minded zealots? Perhaps. Or maybe they're just thinking more practically or even just prefer to use something else.

      I tend to think that many might avoid paying $500 for "best of breed" when buying "good enough" is vastly less expensive. There are Windows and Mac users who don't purchase MS Office either.

      I'm reminded of a recent episode of Penn & Teller's "Bullsh*t" where they demonstrated most people don't know what "the best" is and most of the time "the best" isn't worth the extra expense.
    • Inferior on Mac

      When I bought a Mac I needed an office suite to continue the work I was doing on a PC with MS Office. The Mac comes with a "test drive" version of Office. I compared that to the free NeoOffice (based on OpenOffice) and Neo was the hands-down winner for integration into the OS X platform. MS simply did not put enough effort into the port to Mac.
  • Depends

    About the only thing I really miss from MSOffice is the outliner. Other than that, OpenOffice works very nicely -- it's much better, for instance, at drawings and technical writing (except for the outlining, again.)

    So if OpenOffice.org gets a decent outliner, the answer is a solid "no." Otherwise, $EMPLOYER has the usual corporate MSOffice arrangement and my department is being charged for it on a headcount basis anyway, so why not?
    Yagotta B. Kidding
  • Roadmap

    Next version of Office released with native Linux/Solaris/Mac support. .NET framework release for Linux/Solaris, Managed Java comes into Visual Studio, Visual Studio released with Linux/Solaris port. MS SQL Server relase for Linux/Solaris.


    1. Next release office to tightly integrate with .NET.

    2. Mono did the roll out work for MS - showed it can be done and there is a development base out there.

    3. Visual Studio goes after Eclipse share - can now have C# and Managed Java in one IDE.

    4. Third party apps that want to work in Linux that use Office for reporting (Excel, Word) now can.

    5. SQL Server goes after Oracle and DB2 share.

    6. Solaris support is there as the bone tossed to Sun so as to gain Java support in Visual Studio.

    This is ALL about the server, the desktop is a very minor player in this.