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The Register: MS + Corel = Office for Linux? In your dreams...

Oct 04, 2000, 12:13 (11 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by John Lettice)

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"The persistent - and persistently wrong - rumours that Microsoft is going to port Office to Linux will have gained new impetus following yesterday's "alliance" with Corel. Here we have Microsoft pumping cash into a leading Linux vendor which is also just about (pace Sun) its last serious competitor in the apps business. Microsoft must want Corel's Linux expertise to get the skunkworks Linux Office port flying, right?"

"Such an interpretation requires heroic optimism, and extraordinary faith - in the face of all the historical evidence - that Microsoft is prepared to view non-Windows markets as fields to be developed for rather than opposition to be crushed. Again, against all the historical evidence, it presupposes that Microsoft views licensing deals as mutually advantageous give and take relationships. Embrace, extend, extinguish? You heard that one?"

"One day Microsoft may prove that it's a nice company after all, but it has a huge weight of pre-existing baggage to shift before that happens. Microsoft always acts to protect and boost its own assets, which we can define as whatever it happens to be calling Windows today, while at the same time hobbling and destabilising potential competition. This doesn't appear to have stopped Duncan Stewart, apparently working as a portfolio manager for Tera Capital while on day-release from Disneyland, from telling Dow Jones Newswires: "This is Microsoft doing it out of the goodness of its heart, and hopefully picking up some good technology." But goodness, Duncan, has nothing to do with it."

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