OPEN-MINDED SOFTWARE VENDOR Microsoft has announced its first native Office app for Linux.
The public preview (beta) of Microsoft Teams for Linux has landed, with packages in both .deb and .rpm formats, which should cover it for most flavours of your favourite open-source operating system.
Said Microsoft in a fit of excitement: "The Microsoft Teams client is the first Microsoft 365 app that is coming to Linux desktops and will support all of Teams' core capabilities. Teams is the hub for teamwork that brings together chat, video meetings, calling, and collaboration on Office 365 documents and business processes within a single, integrated experience."
Indeed so. The Slack rival integrates with the rest of the Office suite (yet to be announced for Linux) and replaces Skype for Business, which itself replaced Microsoft Lynx, for those of you who've been out of the Microsoft loop.
Jim Zemlin, executive director at The Linux Foundation, adds: "With this announcement, Microsoft is bringing its hub for teamwork to Linux. I'm thrilled to see Microsoft's recognition of how companies and educational institutions alike are using Linux to transform their work culture.
Microsoft Teams may seem like an odd choice for a first Linux app, but it makes sense when Microsoft explains that it intends for Teams to be a linchpin (the word they use is ‘scaffold') to the forthcoming Fluid Framework, which will make it easier to work across the whole Microsoft suite simultaneously, as well as providing even better support for those who want to contribute remotely.
It's been quite the journey for Microsoft. The idea that we'd be reporting on Office for Linux, even five years ago, would have been ridiculous. But under the stewardship of Satya Nadella, the feud between Linux and the Big M has turned into a partnership of equals - with the acquisition of the Github repository being the cherry on a very large cake.
The release follows news of an Edge Preview for Linux, for some reason. μ
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