Microsoft is disputing a report that it has been working to port its Office applications suite and other Windows applications to the open-source Linux platform.

Doug Miller, group product manager for the Windows server group at Microsoft, says the report by Paul Thurrott, editor of the WinInfo newsletter, was "based on rumour" and "not true."

WinInfo reported that developers from Microsoft and Mainsoft, a maker of Windows-to-Unix porting tools, have been working for more than a year to port Office and other Windows applications to Linux.

Rumours that Microsoft eventually will port Office to Linux, much as it did for the Macintosh, have persisted ever since the open-source OS began gaining mind share.

Proof of Microsoft's interest in Linux first surfaced in fall 1998, when a company engineer's Linux research - the so-called Halloween Papers - was leaked to the press.