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With Microsoft Office on Android, Has Linus Torvalds Won? 365

Posted by timothy
from the lifetime-achievement-award dept.
sfcrazy writes "The father of Linux, Linus Torvalds, once said, 'If Microsoft ever does applications for Linux it means I've won.' Microsoft yesterday released one of its cash cows, Microsoft Office, for Android. Since Microsoft has a very vague idea of what users want and is suffering from lock-in, the app is just an Android front end of Office 365 and is accessible only by the paid users. There are already quite a lot of office suites available on Android including Office Pro, QuickOffice and KingSoft, so Microsoft will have to struggle there. Still it's a Microsoft core application coming to Linux. So, it looks like Linus has won."
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With Microsoft Office on Android, Has Linus Torvalds Won?

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  • by Lunix Nutcase (1092239) on Thursday August 01, 2013 @10:55AM (#44446517)

    If they are losing relevance than why would this even warrant a story? How would having even more people using Office be akin to losing relevance? It seems it would be the opposite.

  • Does it matter? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by bigman2003 (671309) on Thursday August 01, 2013 @11:31AM (#44447041) Homepage
    The whole idea of 'winning' or 'losing' is misguided. The whole idea of marketshare being an indicator of quality is also misguided. I am an admitted Microsoftie. I'm on a Surface tablet right now. My Windows phone is sitting next to me. I've got an Xbox, subscription to Office 365, etc. I'm all in. The phone market has really taught me a lot. I used to carry an iPhone, but I was never really impressed with it. Eventually I switched to Windows and I was much happier (with my phone). A lot of people look at my phone as a lesser product. They'll send me links to articles predicting the demise of Windows Phone, or articles describing the horrible marketshare. But guess what? None of those articles...or the low marketshare...or the possible impending demise make me think less of my phone. Not at all. They have no impact on how I feel about the technology in my pocket. So the point is- I feel that others should do the same. Ignore the marketshare (unless you are an investor or developer) ignore the articles written by the hacks (Motley Fool is determined to bash Microsoft 30 times per day) and just use the technology in the way it was intended. Don't get emotionally invested in someone else's business. Microsoft put (a decidedly strange version of) Office on Android because they want the money. It has nothing to do with either satisfying, or challenging the fanboys. It has to do with money. That is what companies do. Apple had a horrible marketshare in the desktop OS market. It didn't mean they had an inferior product, just a less popular one. Getting emotional about this is silly.
  • by timeOday (582209) on Thursday August 01, 2013 @11:54AM (#44447289)
    Downfall? Adroid is a "fragment" of the Linux community that has snowballed into a runaway success that now dwarfs the adoption of Linux on the conventional PC desktop and may yet dwarf the number of Windows installs globally. This would not have happened had google not been allowed to take Linux in a different direction and run with it.
  • by ImprovOmega (744717) on Thursday August 01, 2013 @12:13PM (#44447491)

    It's like asking what would happen if the oceans started draining [xkcd.com]? Yeah, it would eventually devastate the oceans, but there's so much water there that it takes forever. For Microsoft to fold up shop would take at least a decade of consistently bad decisions, and even then it would almost have to be willful.

    For modern examples of tech companies in decline, consider Blackberry, formerly Research in Motion. Everybody says they are dead in the water, but if you look at it, they still have billions in cash, and probably at least 5+ years of life even if everything goes completely against them.

    Or SCO - they limped and legally maneuvered their way into 10+ years of extra life (the last 5 of which have been under bankruptcy protection!) when they should've been dead and gone since at least 2005. No, corporations do not go quietly into that good night. Those that should by all rights be "dead" usually have at least 5+ years of limping along to do.

  • by ImprovOmega (744717) on Thursday August 01, 2013 @12:20PM (#44447579)

    This all might be foreshadowed by RIM and Blackberry: originally king at business, trying to fit in elsewhere, disrupted by technology they didn't grasp, falling behind, throwing money at trying to stay relevant, while everyone else wants to move on.

    RIM, whether they like it or not, is transitioning into a services company. They made an incredibly shrewd move with the Mobile Device Management platform formerly Blackberry Fusion, now rebranded Universal Device Service. They allowed existing Blackberry customers to migrate licenses for all of 2013 for free to the new platform and use those licenses to manage not only Blackberry 10 devices (naturally) but also iPhone/iPad and Android devices. This made an incredibly strong cost/benefit argument for existing customers faced with increasing pressure to allow corporate iPhones and Androids to just keep using Blackberry to manage them. This helps Blackberry (the company) ensure a consistent revenue stream from MDM licensing even if you're using a competitors product.

    The switch to ActiveSync for messaging will also help take the load off of their servers, allowing them to shrink their infrastructure saving even more money, and whether the phone ends up being popular or not (it's a pretty solid device, just very few apps as yet), they have a viable path forward for the future. They were already a trusted name in the MDM market with a great deal of penetration with their old devices. The leveraged that pretty hard and I think it will be their saving grace going forward.

  • by TechyImmigrant (175943) on Thursday August 01, 2013 @04:27PM (#44450783) Journal

    >The important Office products are PowerPoint and Excel. There are no good competitors for either.

    There are many perfectly serviceable competitors for PowerPoint and Excel, both free and proprietary.

    What there is no effective competition for is Visio. Visio is far and away the most effective technical drawing tool. Nothing comes close. It is the reason I use Office. I can write words and make slides on any platform, but I can't get the smartshape automation of Visio anywhere else.

  • by lgw (121541) on Thursday August 01, 2013 @05:34PM (#44451419) Journal

    There are many perfectly serviceable competitors for PowerPoint and Excel, both free and proprietary.

    People who live and die by the PowerPoint sales presentation don't agree. I can't stand slideware myself, so I don't have a strong opinion, but people I know who make and show presentations all day (and have good reasons to use non-MS products) say there's just no comparison. SmartArt automation is a big part of it, I'm guessing.

    Similarly, unless you just need a spreadsheet calculator, I haven't seen anything that stands with Excel - certainly the online spreadsheets like the Google Docs one don't come anywhere close. I use Excel as my drawing program (if you make the cells square, it's great for the kind of drawing you do on graph paper), which nothing else seems good at, but mostly there's this whole culture of "spreadsheet programmers" who only know Excel/VBA (seriously, no other languages or training, but spend days on VBA programs).

There is hardly a thing in the world that some man can not make a little worse and sell a little cheaper.

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