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How reliable can this rumor be ? There were no developper from Microsoft at Fosdem as far as I know. At best, if it is true, someone heard it from a friend working at Microsoft. More likely, someone working at Microsoft (but not in the MS Office team) said to a friend that with Valve pushing Linux, they might consider porting MS Office to it if it is a success. And by the time the rumor reached Michael's hears, they had a native port on the way... I don't trust that at all.
I wouldn't count skype as it already existed for linux, and since microsoft bought skype they appear to have merely tolerated the existence the linux port, and have done nothing of interest with it. Google hangouts offer greater functionality than skype. Now, if ms were to offer a linux version of office, that would be a whole new level of support.
We have a number of people, myself included, who run Linux on their desktops (although not officially sanctioned by IT) since we develop for Linux. So we generally have to run a VM with Windows for Office, especially Outlook. That's a hassle I could live without.
Same here. crossover office works OK, but it would be better to have native support.