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Eric Finkenbiner: Microsoft Hints at Office 2014 for Linux, LibreOffice Comparison

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By Eric Finkenbiner for aGNUdomain.net: A few days ago Michael Larabel posted on his Twitter feed that Microsoft is currently considering a Linux release of Microsoft Office in 2014.

He learned this while attending the Free Open-Source Developers' European Meeting (FOSDEM) in Brussels this past weekend. This rumor is welcomed by those in the Linux community who still rely on Microsoft Office for their day to day work activity.

While LibreOffice is great, there are admittedly some situations where you need the actual Microsoft Office program for compatibility purposes. Even if you needed to run Microsoft Office on Linux it was a fairly straightforward proposition using WINE, the popular Windows compatibility application.

I will admit that it is tempting to think of a world where I could install Microsoft Office without the need for another application, such as WINE. However I'm not sure that I am very interested in the idea. I have been very lucky in that my last two employers were participants in Microsoft programs which allowed me to get Office for the heavily-discounted price of $9.95.

If that were not the case, I would not have purchased it. I have long been a fan of OpenOffice, which is now LibreOffice, and feel that it fits my needs quite nicely.  The only exception to this is the apparent lack of functionality of the LibreOffice suite when compared to Microsoft Excel.  Even given that fault, at the low price of free I find LibreOffice to be a great value for the everyday user.

LibreOffice just happened to announce this same week the release of their next iteration, LibreOffice 4. With this version they have even announced support for Microsoft Visio and Publisher files.  

If you listen to Attack of the Androids you are probably aware of the sad state of my home internet connection. This means that I am still downloading the latest version of LibreOffice and can't give you my full opinion just yet. However I still feel justified in saying that this rumor, while yet unconfirmed, just doesn't  evoke the immense feelings of joy and relief that it may have  seven years ago when I started using Linux fulltime.  

What do you think? Is this just the news you needed to convince yourself to move to the Linux desktop? Has Microsoft just ushered in the long-awaited, never-fulfilled dream of "The Year of the Linux Desktop?" Leave a comment below or chat me up on Google+.  

I'm +Eric Finkenbiner for aGNUdomain.net. 

4 Comments

  1. David Street – February 9, 2013

    I can’t see paying for the MS Office product, myself.

  2. Stinger – February 9, 2013

    Me, neither. Not a dime.

  3. Eric Finkenbiner – February 9, 2013

    I think that this will be helpful for Linux adoption in the desktop space but possibly a hindrance to LibreOffice adoption. “Free” is a great incentive but fear of the unknown is probably a bigger disincentive (at least for now).

  4. Trevor – CRM – March 26, 2013

    I think they need to sort out the security issues with office 365 before they even thin about office 2014…

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