OSDL Calls Microsofts Bluff

Opinion: The OSDL brass suggested to Microsoft that the two collaborate on Office for Linux. Redmond's response? You guessed it. (Microsoft Watch)

The Open Source Development Labs (OSDL) folks are crafty. Possibly even as deliciously devious as Microsoft.

During a supposedly secret meeting last month, Microsoft officials recently asked OSDL CEO Stuart Cohen whether OSDL might consider conducting a joint-research study which would provide some "fact-based analysis" on Windows vs. Linux.

Cohen politely declined, expressing skepticism about Microsofts intentions before, during and after such a joint endeavor.

But then Cohen did the Redmondians one better. He called Microsofts bluff. Cohen came back with a suggestion on an arena in which the two could potentially collaborate: Office for Linux.

"As you look at the acceleration of Linux on the desktop, making Office available to run on top of Linux is something I think we could work on together, especially to meet the needs of those Global 2000 customers with a large number of Linux servers, which they are growing rapidly and are matching their number of Windows servers," Cohen told eWEEK Senior Editor Peter Galli.

Cohens suggestion was nothing more than bluff calling.

Microsoft wants no parts of that project. And, just as I could understand completely the OSDLs reasons for rebuffing Redmonds joint-study proposal, I can fathom Microsofts myriad reasons for continuing to shun an Office for Linux variant.

Sure, Microsoft could port Office to Linux. Although company officials insist they have not done so, I would wager someone, somewhere at Microsoft has created a proof-of-concept demo, at the very least.

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