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Two on Linux, Open Source in India

Nov 19, 2002, 14:30 (5 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by P. Sreevalsan Menon, K. Sunil Thomas)

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"Say the L-word, and Gates plays the role of the die-hard American advocate, dismissing it offhand. Then how is it growing? He goes all out to prove that it is at the cost of UNIX and other platforms. In fact, the biz-whiz is quite keen that not many people take it seriously.

"Estimates are that the sale of software and computers in India is set to explode in the coming years, even as it has plateaued or started to decline elsewhere in the world. A major source of new computer buys would be the government. A lot of government departments which were computerised early on use outdated software that have to be replaced. India's emergence as a software development hub, and back-office point for MNCs also spells business to Microsoft.

"But not if Linux's popularity keeps rising. The Kerala and Goa governments have issued notifications to all its departments to implement Windows only if free-source softwares like Linux are not suitable for the task at hand. Not surprisingly, then, Gates had a one-to-one with Kerala Industries Minister Kunhalikutty in Delhi. Karnataka, virtually the IT hub of the country, has a policy of implementing free-source software. With ambitious localisation and e-governance drives going on in many states, this is business that Microsoft cannot afford to miss out on..."

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rediff.com: 'Open Source Software Key to Export Growth'

"An international report on e-commerce trends has said the continued high growth rate of information technology (IT) exports of developing countries will depend on the adoption of open source software products like the Linux operating system.

"The E-Commerce and Development Report 2002 by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development says while products like semi-conductors and electronic data processing now represent a larger share of the exports of developing nations than traditional products, the share of 'commoditised products,' which have low value addition, is still higher..."

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