To whom it may concern,
I’m a student, who’s doing an IT course at college. A lot of the course is written up/based on using Microsoft Office 2007, which I admit, is an excellent piece of software! Sadly, although you have released a Mac version of Office (actually, the applications in Office were first released for mac, with Word entering the market even before Windows 1.01 was released!), there is no Linux version.
I understand why there isn’t a release for Linux based systems, as it’s only about 2.14% of the market share (according to this page from the W3Counter of web statistics for October 2009) and that you don’t really see a point in releasing a proprietary software package for an open source system, but I believe there will be major benefits:
Although there are many great open source Office packages out there, the majority of the world use Microsoft Office, and in more complex documents, they do not look the same when opened on these alternatives.
Secondly, not every Linux user out there boycots Microsoft products, in fact, many would welcome Microsoft Office onto their machines, at the end of the day, it’s up to the user what they install or don’t install.
Thirdly, although 2.14% doesn’t sound like much of a market share, there are roughly 6 767 805 208 computer users out there, and 2.14% of that is 144 831 031! Almost 145 Million Linux users out there, many of them (who don’t follow Richard Stallman’s example to the letter) would love to see Office ported to their system! That number is rising every day, and bearing in mind that Mac only counts for about 7.46% of the market share, yet they have a version of Office that works great, and many people use it! Lets face it, both Linux and Mac users are often wrongly accused of boycotting anything Microsoft, when in fact they are just using a system that works well for them!
One of the things that makes it hard for me as a student, doing the course I’m doing, is that I need Microsoft Access, and that involves switching back to Windows (which eats up about 10gb of extra space on my hard drive in the first place), doing the work I need to do, then rebooting back into Linux later. It isn’t really too much of a problem for me, but there are some people who would either: not bother working with office, or not bother working in Linux… now I know what option you’re likely to want!
But the truth is, you could make a great deal of money from the average Linux user, by porting Office to it, though, the following would make it more appealing to Linux users:
- Reasonable price (free maybe? haha, worth a shot, right?)
- Easily installable under different systems (maybe an online repository that provides DEB files for Debian/Ubuntu users, and RPMs for Red Hat based flavours, as well as a static binary for systems without these package managers
- Drop activation (because to be honest, that usually does more harm than good!), but instead stick with the serial key option
- Updates as often as the Windows and Mac versions
- Microsoft Access (and yes, a Mac copy of that is long overdue too!)
- and possibly throw in a (dare I say it) media player capable of playing DRM protected WMA/WMV files (sorry my fellow open source users!)
These are just my suggestions, and another thing to bear in mind, releasing software for the Linux platform, might just give Microsoft a little bit more respect from the Linux community.
Robert Ian Hawdon (A.K.A. Dave Morrison)
I received this first response from Microsoft today:
Thank you for your valuable feedback on Linux.
I would also like to assure you that we do consider such feedback to be extremely valuable as it helps us to improve the products and service that we offer. With this in mind I will make sure that your feedback is passed to the appropriate department for their consideration.
For any issues related to Linux, I suggest you contact the respected party as they are your primary source of support.
If you have any more questions please give us a call on 0844 800 2400. The lines are open from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays. If you still have any more questions, please reply to this email.
Many thanks for contacting us.
Customer Service Professional |Microsoft Customer Services
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