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Two on the Open-Source Battle for India

Dec 17, 2002, 05:30 (8 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Anand Parthasarathy)

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The Hindu: Is Linux Finally 'Open for Business'?

[ Thanks to Bhola De for this link. ]

"'Everybody talks about it, but nobody does anything about it!' If American humourist, Mark Twain, were alive today his quip would be about the 'free and open' software Linux, rather than about the weather.

"But suddenly it seems in the first half of December, the weather in the World Wide Web has changed--and after a decade of hype Linux is finally 'out in the open' and ready to enter the mass consumer desktop. An unrelated series of global events in recent days may end up providing the final push for the operating system software that was touted as the only challenger to big brand name players who were perceived as triple P's: pricey, proprietary and predatory..."

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The Financial Express: The Unknown Finn And The Indian Babu's MS Revolt

"While redistribution of proprietary software like Microsoft's is restricted through a licence agreement, the licensing terms for Linux grant the right to obtain and redistribute copies. The babus have quickly realised that if India is to put a computer in every government office--to issue licences, compile land records, ration cards, whatever--Microsoft and its costly marketing machine is clearly beyond the government's limited means.

"So they're doing what China did: encouraging government nationwide to promote open platforms (read, Linux) instead of proprietary solutions (read, Microsoft). The Department of Information Technology is already introducing open-source software as a de-facto standard in academic institutions, especially in engineering colleges. Research establishments and governments too are being urged to latch onto Linux. The result is that Microsoft is now considering what would be until lately considered heresy: a plan to share Microsoft source code with a designated government institution. The details are still being worked out and Microsoft India will only say they are evaluating the idea..."

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