Open source obsessive Michael Larabel says he has it on good authority that Microsoft is considering a native version of Office for Linux. Specifically, the company is taking a "meaningful look" at the idea, now that Linux is showing signs of becoming more of a player in the OS stakes. The information came to Larabel from an unnamed source during this year’s Free Open-Source Developers’ European Meeting (FOSDEM) in Brussels, and this voice in the shadows apparently also revealed the port could be ready in 2014.
Larabel is often right about things like this. But regardless of whether Office for Linux comes to fruition, the idea of Microsoft even thinking about it — and potentially giving such oxygen to a (free-of-charge) Windows rival — may come as a surprise. When someone alluded to this on Twitter, Larabel replied that he wouldn’t be surprised if there are "many doubters" but challenged them to "wait and see." He points out that Microsoft has offered "unlikely sponsorship" to Linux projects in the past, albeit on a relatively small scale, and that the rumored Office for Androidmay also function as a stepping stone. Still, there’ll need to be a few more meetings in underground parking lots before we’re totally convinced.