When Apple announced the Mac App Store, one of the inevitable concerns people raised was that "someday" Apple would make it the only way to install applications.
I said at the time -- and continue to believe -- that Apple won't do this for a number of reasons, but one of the biggest was that I couldn't imagine Adobe, Microsoft, AutoCAD and others would ever want to hand Apple 30 percent of their asking price.
Well, apparently Microsoft hasn't completely ruled the idea out.
Microsoft's Amanda Lefebvre told AllThingsD that putting Office on the Mac App Store is "something we are looking at... It's something we haven't ruled out. We just have to see how that relates to our business."
Color me skeptical. I suspect that what this means is Microsoft is going to see if their market share goes down because new Mac users become accustomed to using the Mac App Store so much so that they start to think of it as the only place to get software. If that is worth the 30 percent trade-off, then we might see Office in the Mac App Store. Another issue is that Microsoft has made their licensing for Office 2011 more restrictive than 2008 whereas the Mac App Store gives users much more generous freedom to install apps on all of their Macs.
Saying that they "haven't ruled it out" gives them the freedom to decide later, and I'm guessing that's all this statement is designed to say. I'd still be shocked if it actually happens, but even if it does, I don't expect Apple to make the Mac App Store the only want to install software, at least not anytime in the next several years.
Speaking of Microsoft Office, if you haven't checked it out yet, there is now a 30-day trial available from Microsoft's website.