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Rumors are not exactly an uncommon phenomenon here in the Linux community, but every once in a while one comes along that is so compelling, such a deliciously tantalizing prospect, that bloggers just can't leave it alone, no matter how far-fetched it may be. Case in point? Oh, it's a juicy one: "Microsoft is having a 'meaningful look' at a full Linux port of Office thanks to Linux showing signs of commercial viability on the desktop," in the words of Phoronix writer Michael Larabel, who claimed to have it on good authority.
I'll believe just about anything right now when it comes to Microsoft. They have got to be hearing the tolling of the bells. Even they can't be blind enough to realize that they dominate in a market that is shrinking, and may soon reach the tipping point beyond which serious commercial software developers will no longer see developing products for the Windows operating system to be a financially sound allocation of resources.
The one thing I can say, with dead certainty, is that the future of the GNU Linux operating system, and all of it's derivatives, is far brighter than that of the Windows operating system, in virtually every segment of the market for computing devices, from servers, to smart phones, to refrigerators, televisions, and even desktops.
Now if we could just get the US military to wake up and smell the coffee... ;)
Microsoft is in business to make money, pure and simple. They are not going to do anything that they do not think will lead to a profit. They sold Novell/SUSE Linux even to system software customers who wanted it. They sold so much of that that they have reordered a couple of times.
If there is enough of a profit to be made from selling MS Office to Linux users, they will do so, just like they sell it on Macs.
M$ will impact Android and Linux like the meteor over Siberia; few will actually (personally) experience the event while the world looks at all the broken windows.
... are NOT the same thing. I don't believe Ballmer would allow a full Linux port, no way, no how, even if he's allowing the ranks to discuss it.
Office 365, ported to Linux ... that might be interesting, and it's vaguely possible, it seems to me. Providing a gateway drug to Linux users to woo them toward Windows seems like just Ballmer's style.