I’ve been running Linux instead of Windows for years. One of the Holy Grails in the Linux world was Microsoft Office. It is the defacto standard in the business world – at least for now. If Microsoft ever decided to create a version for Linux it would be an incredible validation. While I don’t see it happening anytime soon, it looks like we’re about to get the next best thing.
I’ve been seeing noise the last few days about Microsoft releasing Office for Apple’s iPad. I was reading an article about it in the NY Times today and came across this tantalizing statement:
Microsoft introduced the long-awaited suite of applications, which includes Word, PowerPoint and Excel, at an event here Thursday, where the company’s new chief executive, Satya Nadella, committed to making the software work on all major computing devices, including those made by its competitors. Microsoft plans to create Office apps for tablet computers running Google’s Android operating system, too.
Android is based on Linux and is the operating system running on millions of smartphones and tablets. Building a version of MS Office for Android and iPad could have big ramifications for Windows. Its stranglehold on the desktop operating system has a lot to do with MS Office. Besides tablets, Android PCs are already here. Having MS Office available makes them much more viable.
Linux is already ubiquitous. Almost any smart device or Internet-aware gadget that you have is probably running it. I’m using it right now to write this post on my Chromebook. It will be interesting to see what effect Office for Android has on the computing landscape.