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With Microsoft Office on Android, Has Linus Torvalds Won?

timothy posted about 9 months ago | from the lifetime-achievement-award dept.

Microsoft 365

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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365 comments

I don't know, has he? (4, Informative)

Raven42rac (448205) | about 9 months ago | (#44446389)

Re:I don't know, has he? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44446465)

Does Betteridge == Grumpy Cat?

Re:I don't know, has he? (5, Insightful)

poetmatt (793785) | about 9 months ago | (#44446473)

It's a silly question, anyway.

Linus isn't really linux by itself, he just had a critical part to play. The more accurate question would be "is Microsoft losing relevance and marketshare?" to which the answer is yes, and not really a surprise.

Re:I don't know, has he? (4, Interesting)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about 9 months ago | (#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.

Re:I don't know, has he? (3, Informative)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about 9 months ago | (#44446665)

Well, it's certainly not driving WP8 adoption. (Around here, we tend only to care about OS marketshare.)

Re:I don't know, has he? (4, Insightful)

tylikcat (1578365) | about 9 months ago | (#44446949)

They are losing relevance. But they have a lot of relevance to lose, so expect them to be significantly relevant for a while yet.

(May the Lord Bless and Keep Ballmer - far, far away from us.)

Re:I don't know, has he? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44446527)

Linux itself is a very non-critical part of Android. It's just the kernel. It can be replaced fairly easy. Users never interact with it directly. The user interface elements are much more important. Linux is just a comodity. A very good comodity, but still a comodity.

Re:I don't know, has he? (2, Insightful)

jones_supa (887896) | about 9 months ago | (#44446703)

That's like saying the car's engine is not important as the user is interacting with the steering wheel and pedals. Besides, I bet the user interface elements of Android could also be "replaced fairly easy". Anything can. But Linux plays many important roles in the background of an Android system.

Re:I don't know, has he? (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 9 months ago | (#44447011)

It's more like saying that a car's particular engine isn't important, and you can just replace a Ferrari's V12 engine with a Chevette engine and the driver will barely notice the difference.

Re:I don't know, has he? (2)

DeathToBill (601486) | about 9 months ago | (#44446731)

Well, in theory that's true of *any* Linux distribution. Replacing the kernel is not "fairly easy" though. Sure it can be done: Debian are attempting a port that replaces Linux with BSD, for instance. But they've only got as far as a preview release. Moving a whole operating system from kernel to another is not easy.

Re:I don't know, has he? (1)

armanox (826486) | about 9 months ago | (#44446765)

Same can be said about Ubuntu, Debian, Gentoo, and Fedora (especially Gentoo and Debian, seeing that we have FreeBSD (and Hurd on Debian) based releases (and some ports of Debian to Illumos)).

Re:I don't know, has he? (0)

Raven42rac (448205) | about 9 months ago | (#44446531)

Relevance and marketshare in which segments? Mobile and tablet? Absolutely. Business desktop and server. Not a chance.

Re:I don't know, has he? (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 9 months ago | (#44446605)

Desktop you are right, Server you are wrong.

Even VMware is using it. Not to mention normal linux server stuff. Windows servers fall into two categories your has to be on windows stuff and windows only shops. The latter are getting less and less.

Re:I don't know, has he? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44446795)

Since ESX is based on Linux that means that MS is losing marketshare in the server room? Wha?

That's like claiming that Windows is losing marketshare because routers and switches don't run MS software.

And with the advancements of HyperV in Server 2012 it seems that MS is gaining virtualization marketshare back from VMWare [informationweek.com] . Sorry if that burns your theory on the matter but HyperV in S2012 is very well done and your assumptions show that you don't keep up on the cutting edge of virtualization.

Re:I don't know, has he? (1)

interval1066 (668936) | about 9 months ago | (#44446979)

"has", he's still an active leader in several critical linux code trees and new kernel revs don't go out the door with out his personal approval.

Re:I don't know, has he? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44446565)

captain obvious that Betteridge, isn't he? oh wait....

Re:I don't know, has he? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44446573)

Is Android "Linux" or is a different entity based on Linux?

Re:I don't know, has he? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44446705)

It uses the Linux kernel, therefore it "is Linux".

It is not "GNU/Linux", if you're a Stallmanite; it uses none of the GNU userland. (Although who the hell ever actually said guhnoo-slash-linux anyway?)

The graphics stack is not X11, but that hardly makes it a different entity.

Re:I don't know, has he? (5, Insightful)

Raven42rac (448205) | about 9 months ago | (#44446723)

The community does the job of fragmenting the Linux community far better than Microsoft or Apple could ever hope to. That's the downfall.

Re:I don't know, has he? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 9 months ago | (#44446873)

Android is as much as linux as debian.
Both can have their kernels swapped if you really wanted.

WINNING (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44446401)

I don't know if it's something distinctly American or what but having a broader choice of operating systems and software that can run on a variety of them means WE WIN.

Linus didn't win the game... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44446421)

... the game changed and Microsoft is losing this one.

Huh? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44446435)

Android is not Linux. Linux is a kernel not the OS.

Re:Huh? (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about 9 months ago | (#44446545)

Android is not Linux. Linux is a kernel not the OS.

That's why some say GNU/Linux.

Re:Huh? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44446617)

Some people also eat their own toe jam, so there's that.

Re:Huh? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44446911)

some people think an ad hominem is enough to have any relevance.

Re:Huh? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44447015)

Some people think a person who eats shit from their own feet (in public and unaware that everyone saw it, no less) still have credibility.

Re:Huh? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44446913)

I saw a video of Stallman doing exactly this!

Re:Huh? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about 9 months ago | (#44446967)

The part of the system that people interact with is GNU.

It's just like MacOS isn't Unix. It's more like System 6 with a Unix kernel underneath. Even if you think it's all only OpenStep now, it's still Openstep, not Unix.

Yeah, the little details matter.

Linux was always that last remaining missing part of GNU.

Re:Huh? (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 9 months ago | (#44446897)

Android is not Linux. Linux is a kernel not the OS.

That's why some say GNU/Linux.

Technically, this one's Android/Linux.

Haven't seen much GNU on my Android device, but the Linux is definitely there.

Semantics (3, Insightful)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 9 months ago | (#44446747)

Linux maybe the kernel, but the whole point of why Richard Stallman never had any luck persuading others with his then very valid point that it should be GNU/Linux, was Linux was such a important, significant, and difficult part of the OS that naming it anything else was stupid (and plain just not as catchy).

The fact that it is used together with a whole host of userlands....Android perhaps the most viable and widespread hitting 900,000,000 install base is simply an aside. Its set to dethrone Microsoft this year.

The fact that I benefit on a GNU/Linux desktop from the work google do elsewhere in their Chrome/Android OS is the wonderfulness of Linux's choice of GPL as a tit for tat licence.

 

Re:Huh? (1)

tylikcat (1578365) | about 9 months ago | (#44446995)

Hm.

Actually, I think Linux is the community. (I mean this quite seriously.) And as such, Android has some overlap with linux, but isn't quite the same thing, either.

But still, I think we all win.

Winning (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44446451)

Yes. The trophy will be in the mail by the end of the week.
  - Microsoft

Mod summary -1 troll (5, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 9 months ago | (#44446457)

Linux already "won" - his goal was to create a Unix-like OS and it became incredibly popular. As far as I am aware he has never shown much interest in getting MS Office for it, or for market share.

Nice try creating animosity where there is none. The summary is full of typos and weasel-words. I'm not huge MS fan but the summary is full of bias in an attempt to turn a mildly interesting story into a flamewar or hatefest.

Re:Mod summary -1 troll (1)

Dishwasha (125561) | about 9 months ago | (#44446477)

Yes, a better question is, is that still the benchmark that Linus uses for determining success? Something tells me....no.

Re:Mod summary -1 troll (5, Insightful)

cervesaebraciator (2352888) | about 9 months ago | (#44446583)

Linux is bigger and more important than 'beating' Microsoft. Sure, many of us go through the puerile stage of trying to win people over from Windows, but that usually ends when maturity teaches us two things: first, to be content having free as in freedom software we can use; second, not to volunteer ourselves for tech support by telling giving friends and relatives unsolicited advice to make significant changes to their computers.

Re:Mod summary -1 troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44446799)

as a MS hater, I think most of it is for the companies who are still watching to listen and read "well, it might be a good idea to start porting more games and apps to linux", and get more, better, OEM hardware support for linux, and unlocked bootloaders to install whatever distro we want.

Re:Mod summary -1 troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44446595)

Agreed. "Since Microsoft has a very vague idea of what users want and is suffering from lock-in" lost me right away.

Re:Mod summary -1 troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44446637)

Linux already "won"

Yes, but we will still award one additional internet to Linus, just as an extra trophy.

Re:Mod summary -1 troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44446857)

Linux already "won" - his goal was to create a Unix-like OS and it became incredibly popular. As far as I am aware he has never shown much interest in getting MS Office for it, or for market share.

Nice try creating animosity where there is none. The summary is full of typos and weasel-words. I'm not huge MS fan but the summary is full of bias in an attempt to turn a mildly interesting story into a flamewar or hatefest.

Judging by Linus' e-rants lately, he may in fact be sitting in his basement shouting "HA take that bill gates, you fucker! YOUR software came to ME! Who's the better programmer now?!"

According to his definition, sure (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44446463)

Linus defined what would be winning, and then it happened, so he wins according to his definition.

I think he will really have won when more people are using a Linux distribution (including Android) than a Windos OS. We are getting there.

Technically yes, but in reality, no. (1)

TWX (665546) | about 9 months ago | (#44446469)

Linux the kernel is the core of both Android the operating system and GNU/Linux the operating system. If one gets pedantic, then technically Microsoft Office for Android satisfies the argument that it's supported on an OS running Linux the kernel, but when most people use "Linux", they're not referring to the kernel, but the operating system with all of its GNU and POSIX stuff.

So, this is a win in the same sense that the Spruce Goose flew.

Re:Technically yes, but in reality, no. (1, Funny)

PPH (736903) | about 9 months ago | (#44446521)

So what you are saying is that both Linus and Richard Stallman won.

Re:Technically yes, but in reality, no. (1)

intermodal (534361) | about 9 months ago | (#44446787)

No, I'm not aware of Office being a GNU-inclusive distribution. Unless of course someone convinces Google Play to run on GNU-using Linux systems and serve Android apps to regular Linux. In which case, yes, Linus and Richard both win.

Re:Technically yes, but in reality, no. (4, Insightful)

invid (163714) | about 9 months ago | (#44446947)

So what you are saying is that both Linus and Richard Stallman won.

No, Google won.

Re:Technically yes, but in reality, no. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44446603)

I get the feeling it's pedantic nerds like you that get people to seek alternatives to GNU tools so they won't have to deal with the GNU/Linux distinction.

Re:Technically yes, but in reality, no. (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 9 months ago | (#44446647)

You can pretty easily add that stuff to android.
My phones and tablets are doing just that.

Re:Technically yes, but in reality, no. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44446713)

And it would be pretty easy for google to move to a non-Linux kernel on android, so what's your point?

Re:Technically yes, but in reality, no. (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 9 months ago | (#44446999)

Same for debian, they already have a BSD based version. Is Debian Linux or not?

Re:Technically yes, but in reality, no. (4, Insightful)

samkass (174571) | about 9 months ago | (#44446709)

Linux the kernel is the core of both Android the operating system and GNU/Linux the operating system. If one gets pedantic, then technically Microsoft Office for Android satisfies the argument that it's supported on an OS running Linux the kernel, but when most people use "Linux", they're not referring to the kernel, but the operating system with all of its GNU and POSIX stuff.

So, this is a win in the same sense that the Spruce Goose flew.

If you're really being pedantic, and really want to start the flame war that you seem to be encouraging, "Linux" is the name of both the kernel and the original operating system, and some other organization has attempted to rename it to put their own brand in it more recently. Someday we may know it at MIT/BSD/GNU/Canonical/RHEL/Linux if that trend keeps up. Or we could just call it what the person who created it called it, and if GNU wants a GNU/whatever OS, they can release a distro with their name on it.

Re:Technically yes, but in reality, no. (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 9 months ago | (#44446915)

Linux the kernel is the core of both Android the operating system and GNU/Linux the operating system. If one gets pedantic, then technically Microsoft Office for Android satisfies the argument that it's supported on an OS running Linux the kernel, but when most people use "Linux", they're not referring to the kernel, but the operating system with all of its GNU and POSIX stuff.

Actually he's won using that definition too. The Linux kernel has virtualization code [arstechnica.com] from Microsoft already.

Re:Technically yes, but in reality, no. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44446941)

No, the OS is called Linux as well.

Do you eat Stallman's toe cheese as well?

Time to adblock /. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44446471)

Another troll article, oh joy. I used to tolerate the ads here just to help fund /. but the crappier and crappier articles and nonexistent editing make it hard to justify any longer.

No, it's not really Linux (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44446483)

Android is collecting all your data, that's why it's free. Linux is truly free, unlike Android.

Re:No, it's not really Linux (2)

kthreadd (1558445) | about 9 months ago | (#44446561)

The Android open source project is free software, but no one really knows about the binary blobs the device makers and carriers ship to you.

Very few actually run Android, most run some of its forks.

Won what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44446501)

It is not a free application. They have released on the Mac platform as well, which isn't really anything new. This just shows that android has become large enough for MS to consider licensing software on it.

Won what exactly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44446511)

It's still a non F/OSS application running on Linux just like many others.

Microsoft is expanding Office to the mobile market and trying to increase their profits, which actually makes sense.

No. (1)

codl (1703578) | about 9 months ago | (#44446513)

This already came up when Microsoft bought Skype and continued maintaining the Linux version for a few months. This is not news-worthy in any way.

Yep, he won all right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44446515)

Except it's not open source, and it's running on Android, so I guess RMS lost.

A webapp is a webapp is a webapp (5, Insightful)

VGPowerlord (621254) | about 9 months ago | (#44446535)

It seems silly to conflate this with Microsoft making products for Linux.

This is just an app that's a wrapper for a web app. The same web app you can already run on Desktop Linux.

Besides which, last I checked this wasn't a free webapp and was, in fact, a way for Microsoft to milk more money out of companies that would have otherwise only had to pay Microsoft for each Office license once. Now it's a monthly fee.

The fact that it also works on other OSes is just a "bonus."

the only thing (4, Insightful)

CAIMLAS (41445) | about 9 months ago | (#44446549)

The only thing that O365 - a closed web platform available only to those who pay a subscription - on Android means is that users lose.

Re:the only thing (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 9 months ago | (#44446593)

Now Android users can have the same experience iOS users have had for a couple months - swearing at their phones, wondering why Microsoft bothered to release such a neutered product!

I'm sure Linus is having a piece of cake in celebration...

Yes, what a great victory (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44446553)

Microsoft totally lost, they only made HUNDREDS of BILLIONS in revenue over the years.

Totally showed that Linus guy..

Libreoffice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44446571)

I don't know about all that, but I use Libreoffice. It works well.
I can edit documents people send me. What's the issue here?

I don't know (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44446577)

but Linus is still an assshole.

Excuse me, you're late to the party (4, Informative)

nashv (1479253) | about 9 months ago | (#44446579)

Microsoft has already released several applications for Android, as is evidenced here https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=Microsoft+Corporation [google.com] . I still cannot find any thing for Microsoft Office, except maybe Onenote.

MSN Messenger for Android was released in 2012.

Re:Excuse me, you're late to the party (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 9 months ago | (#44446785)

Amazing! It's almost as if you didn't even read TFS.

Re:Excuse me, you're late to the party (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44446899)

Can't blame him/her though. I think the word article doesn't apply.

Linus might have won but users lost (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44446607)

Another proprietary app to tempt people. And a completely unneccessary one at that, Libreoffice is quite complete and works well.

http://www.libreoffice.org/download [libreoffice.org]

not really (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 9 months ago | (#44446613)

If anything, this benefits MS. They've hopefully learned and adapted to:
Use semi-monopoly to force stupid crap that customers don't want down people's throats = less money, benefits the competition by losing sales
Give people what the market research says they actually want = more money, hurts the competition by losing them sales

If this is the beginning of them pulling their heads out of their asses, this is not good for Linux at all.

Perhaps Linus has indeed won... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44446625)

...except for the personal fortune of tens of billions of dollars. But he won on principle.

No, Linus is not making Linux to win (1)

a_n_d_e_r_s (136412) | about 9 months ago | (#44446633)

Linus has seen Wargames and knows that sometimes
the best way to win is not to play the game

He does it just for fun.

A fund-a-mental-list! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44446651)

Swapnil Bhartiya - A free software fund-a-mental-ist and Charles Bukowski fan, Swapnil also writes fiction and tries to find cracks in a proprietary company's 'paper armours'. He is a big movie buff and prefers listening to music at such high volumes that he's gone partially deaf when it comes to identifying anything positive about proprietary companies. You can follow him on Twitter, Google+ & Facebook. You can write to him on editor at muktware dot com

Re:A fund-a-mental-list! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44446737)

And the "source" for his article: https://plus.google.com/112648813199640203443/posts/6HHv6iczk5k

Linux hasn't won anything. (1, Insightful)

sjwt (161428) | about 9 months ago | (#44446661)

Android Inc has shown what many of us have always said. If the OSS moment got around to making user friendly easy to use stuff, it will take off. All your forking and hiding behind the command line are just killing you. Installs are getting better, much better, but still the amount of work someone has to do is too steep a learning curve for your Average joe to be able to setup and maintain a general Linux system. In the old days it used to be said someone with an Average IQ could EITHER remember the road rules, or be able to program a VHS recorder timer.

And Linus says... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44446669)

!@#$$#@&**@! you guys if you don't do it my way!

Possibly, but ... (1)

Rambo Tribble (1273454) | about 9 months ago | (#44446717)

... more likely, since this is just a rehash of what's available for Windows and iOS, it's more substatively a reflection of Microsoft's pathological fear of change, driven by the company being managed by individuals unwilling to confront their own mortality. "Hope I die before I get old ..."

Office for Linux (1)

Cyb0rg1 (3003441) | about 9 months ago | (#44446725)

Office for android is a start, however I would really like to see a native Office port to desktop Linux. It would convince a lot of people, including myself, to jump ship from Windows and move over entirely to Linux.

Re:Office for Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44446877)

And Microsoft would want to do this because.....

Re:Office for Linux (1)

meta-monkey (321000) | about 9 months ago | (#44446975)

I think that would be great, too, so long as Microsoft provides the source code. Until then, they can cram it.

Genius... (5, Informative)

Real1tyCzech (997498) | about 9 months ago | (#44446805)

Guess what?

Microsoft didn't release Office for Android.

They released Office Mobile for Office 365.

What you imply is that they released an office suite for Android, when in fact, they merely released an Android client for Office 365 users.

As much as you might care to think one is pretty much the same as the other, you would be wrong. This app is not for editing office documents on your mobile device. It is for Office 365 users to view items synced to their cloud....nothing more. It cannot even access items on your mobile device...

Obligatory Link (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44446869)

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.microsoft.office.officehub

Because, jesus christ, what does it take to actually link to the very object you've written an article about.

Microsoft licensed Java from Sun (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44446893)

MS supported a Java virtual machine on Windows desktop for several years.

Then they decided to replace it with their own tech.

Everybody can finally go home now. (1)

jovius (974690) | about 9 months ago | (#44446907)

A well executed decoy by the allies of Linus succeeded to lure MS to make a wrong move after about 20 years in this epic battle! The ambush took MS by surprise because of the lack in their intelligence about the quotes of Linus. Whew I'm glad it's over!

So what's in the future of Slashdot after all this? The currently still low burning Distro Wars?

What about "Embrace and Extend" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44446977)

Doesn't anyone rememeber that?

Microsoft has a long history of seeming to go along with the standard and popular programs, while actually producing products that still lock customers into the Microsoft world try to wean them back to MS proprietary programs.

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