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Indian Government Moves to Let Linux In 330

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the come-and-knock-on-our-door dept.
Webi writes "The government of India has started taking precise, wide-reaching steps to usher in a Linux wave in India." India sure seems to be a highly contested arena lately. Interestingly, India's plan calls for government-sponsored support and call centers. Looks like they've really thought this through.
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Indian Government Moves to Let Linux In

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  • Sweet! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Neck_of_the_Woods (305788) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @08:43PM (#4963499) Journal

    Maybe they will outsource linux support to the us!

    I better start learning my Hindi!

    • by Mdog (25508) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @08:46PM (#4963520) Homepage
      Actually, English will be just fine. Anybody in India who is well-off enough to deal with computers almost definately speaks English. Whether it's English non-Indians can understand is a different matter all together.
      • Re:English in India (Score:5, Interesting)

        by robb0995 (633070) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @08:53PM (#4963562)

        I am in the process of opening a satellite office in India for my company to hire developers and back office personnel, and language doesn't really seem to be a barrier at all.

        In fact, my next trip over, I am scheduled to meet with training centers that train call center agents to speak with a midwestern american accent, and even teaches them current events!! So, this is not even socio-economic class-based, as developers earn significantly more than they do.

        You have to remember that the country was a UK colony until 1948, English is not nearly the problem I worried that it might be.

        • by Zontar The Mindless (9002) <plasticfish.info ... m ['gma' in gap]> on Friday December 27, 2002 @12:53AM (#4964527)
          I have done a great deal of work over the last year or two with people in India. In fact, it's thanks on large part to them that I'm able to support myself at the moment, since I'm currently a nonresident alien in the country where I now reside and thus not permitted to have a job as such. (Nebing an American who finds oneself in that situation is a bit ironic, I must admit, given that in the States we're always hearing about foreigners trying to enter the country to take our jobs.)

          Without boring you with the details, let me just say that many of the programming books you're buying these days are written and edited there, at least in part. (And some of the "polishing up" work gets outsourced to me.)

          Their enthusiasm for doing useful, meaningful work is genuine, as is their desire not to be lisence-taxed to death while trying to do it. They simply can't afford it. So Linux and other Open Source technologies are a natural for them.

          I also wonder if it'd have done Microsoft much good to make a pitch in any case. According to Microsoft's own "Attitudes Towards Shared Source and Open Source Research Study", as quoted in the Halloween Documents [opensource.org],
          Ratings for messages that were meant to be negative actually had a positive response among the respondents. For example, when read what was supposed to be a negative OSS message about OSS and proprietary software having a similar TCO, nearly half (49%) of all respondents said that having heard this message they were now MORE FAVORABLE towards OSS.
          In other words, the very things that MS keep trying to tell people are "evil" about OSS are in fact what people actually like about it! Especially those people concerned with the bottom line because they can't afford not to be.
      • Sort of like the "English" spoken in most of the US. Whether it's English most non-USains can understand...

        Don't forget that most TV anchors are Canadian. They actually speak English.
      • I worked in India for a little while. Just like anywhere else, there are some people who could speak English really well, some who could get by, and some who I had to communicate with using hand signals, facial expressions, and a lot of pointing at things.
    • Re:Sweet! (Score:4, Funny)

      by Bowie J. Poag (16898) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @08:47PM (#4963525) Homepage


      Too late, man. Hindi is obsolete!

      Hindi++ is where it's at nowadays.

    • India can build their own OS, hardware and database system and language, Only problem is Indians are not ready to think this way. They are not ready to fight to get adjusted with current situation of India. As you can see there are more number of psychiatric case in banglore after dot COM then ever. The younger generation's hero is people like sabeer bhatia who earn millions in few years, but that is not the truth any more. The hero who can show path for Indian IT future is the one who will give idea to build entire home made software and hardware solution. The confusing part is that Indians still want to work for foreign company and yet want to live and think like their parents who have experience of working in Indian companies like TATA, BIRLA and Reliance. Or in Indian Government organisation. Where competition means bloody politics, and narrow-minded approach. Indian government must think that ultimately you have to give price to LINUX also in one way or other. As most of the user group are nothing but free bug fixing hut for any software. And as far as cheap labour is the question, ha ha India is the best. Now we have answer of poor people also.
  • text of the article (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Govt move on to let in Linux
    PRASENJIT BHATTACHARYA

    TIMES NEWS NETWORK[ WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 25, 2002 12:54:49 PM ]

    NEW DELHI: The government of India has started taking precise, wide-reaching steps to usher in a Linux wave in India.

    And that cannot be good news for proprietary software vendors like Microsoft. Yesterday, the IT ministry had a meeting of around 70 people, from companies like HP, IBM, Sun and TCS, government agencies like BARC and CDAC, state governments like Kerala, West Bengal and MP to evolve a level playing field for Linux vis-a-vis proprietary software (read Microsoft).

    All the IITs too were represented at the meeting that went on for 4 hours.

    There was consensus in the meeting that Linux was a secure, robust and cost-effective system.

    As far as concrete pro-Linux acts go, government tenders may soon stop specifying Microsoft or any other vendor's name while floating software tenders, thus throwing open the way for Linux vendors to grab lucrative government contracts hitherto barred from them.

    The government is also setting up special interest groups with officials of industry and academia to find out how Linux can be deployed in e-governance, defence, education and so on.

    Since support to Linux is till a big issue, the government is also thinking in terms of setting up support and resource services, and call centres for Linux users. It is also looking at setting up pilot sites, where Linux applications can be "touched and felt". A heartening fact for Linux-philes would be the enthusiasm for Linux shown by extremely security-sensitive agencies like Bhabha Atomic Research Centre and the National Information Centre (NIC).

    Another aspect that came out in the meeting was the work on Indianisation of Linux that's happening now.

    C-DAC's agency NCST and Red Hat have, for instance, developed a Hindi version of Linux, called Indix. IIT Mumbai too is doing pioneering research in Linux.

    Yesterday's meeting of industry, academia and government representatives was chaired by IT secretary R R Shah. According to industry sources, companies like Sun and TCS were all enthusiasm for Linux, with the TCS representative claiming that the company was implementing the country's largest Linux project in Chennai. The government, however, was at pains to bring out the fact that it was not against Microsoft or proprietary software and was only looking to leverage the strengths of open source software.

    However, one official present at the meeting wisecracked, "Microsoft would have had a heart attack if it was present at the meeting. The interest in Linux at this meeting was palpable."

    One influential official told ET that many people were "violently against" computer textbooks in schools and colleges teaching Microsoft Word or Excel, instead of generic applications or technologies, like word processors. Industry sources also said that on the sidelines of the meeting, there were two views among those present about Microsoft's reported move of sharing source code with the government. While some thought it was just "posturing" by MS, others felt that it was a "genuine" attempt by the Redmond giant to reach out.

    However, sources said that it was the representative from Madhya Pradesh, who made a forceful case for Linux. He said that since MP had a paucity of resources, Linux seemed the best solution for the state. He, however, said that there was need to train people in Linux technologies. A member of the Linux user group sprang up to say that the MP government can take help of the extremely active Linux User group in Indore.
  • by MamasGun (602953) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @08:49PM (#4963535) Journal
    ...good for them!

    In developing countries, Free/Open software makes tremendous sense. When your average worker doesn't make enough money in the average month to buy a license to Microsoft's latest OS, you know there's a disconnect.

    Maybe my home state (CA, the new capital of hideous debt) might take a lesson from India.
  • by snarkasaurus (627205) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @08:51PM (#4963546)
    "Interestingly, India's plan calls for government-sponsored support and call centers."

    Oh joy! Another place to be put on eternity hold.

    Any word if they plan on suporting the entire world or just the users in the Indian government?

    • This may actually be a really worthwhile thing. They should put meditation training in the call hold system so you can get enlightened while you wait. Or, in fact, get any enlightenment at all if their tech support is like most.

    • There was a piece on US Nationalized Public Radio the other week about the call center business in India. In the last two years, it's grown to about a $5B/year business, and is still on a steep growth curve. So it's not surprising that there are people in the government saying "Me Too! I invented the Call Center right after I helped Al Gore invent the Internet!" One of the big things that made it possible was telecom liberalization - the VSNL monopoly has been a drag on India's economic growth for years, and as they're gradually getting out of the way, people are starting to be able to get the communications tools they need to open up new business opportunities.

      Other countries have been doing call center outsourcing for a long time - the Caribbean has a lot of it, and while C&W was a monopoly in much of the area, it was much more competent than VSNL, and the area has some level of integration with the US telecom networks.

  • Not that I hope .NET gains much traction, but if it does I think the Mono project is a real godsend.

    Since .NET is mainly an API and MS seems to be supporting alternate but conforming .NET implementations, the Mono project is another reason to use Linux. If applications start using .NET in the future a government won't be at a disadvantage pushing/using Linux.
  • by RealAlaskan (576404) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @08:56PM (#4963580) Homepage Journal
    Governments should:

    1) Talk up linux.
    2) When Bill and Melinda offer money, make nice.
    3) Adopt Linux, and watch your people PROFIT.
    4) Watch their tax recipts rise.

    Whoops, that was 4 steps. Well, government projects usually go over budget.

  • by oliverthered (187439) <oliverthered@hotma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Thursday December 26, 2002 @09:01PM (#4963606) Journal

    No windows, no gates, apache inside.
  • India and Linux (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Salubri (618957)
    There are quite a few things I'm seeing going on here that I do have to point out.

    It has been voiced that India is foolish for going with open source which "at most will be half done" as opposed to Microsoft.

    Think about this: India is a nuclear power, and they can hit major cities. Do we REALLY want a microsoft product running this? Think about it... this would bring entirely new meaning to the term blue screen of death.

    Personally I see linux right now being stuck in this trap. They don't have the marketshare because there isn't the development, and they don't have the development because there is no marketshare. One of these things has to be fixed for the other one to be fixed. India is a HUGE populous. If this becomes the OS of choice over in India, it WILL lead to more development of Linux in general of which the entire linux community will benefit.

  • but.. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by sgups (449689)
    But if anything my own experience of living there tells me, nothing will come of this move for another 20 years and by that time the MS flag will be flying higher than the stars and stripes.
  • India sure seems to be a highly contested arena lately.

    Does anyone else find it funny that Slashdot, a site with <sarcasm> model journalistic integrity</sarcasm> I might add, always sites itself?
  • by CashCarSTAR (548853) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @09:25PM (#4963733)
    Within 10 years Linux or one of its offshoots will be the primary OS used on desktop and server computers world-wide. India is looking towards placing themselves in a very advantageous position in this new IT world.

    Same thing as anybody with any sort of intelligence has their eye on things such as alternative sources of energy..
  • "System Shutdown Completed: Thank you, come again!"
  • "Indian Government Moves to Let Linux In"

    Wow.. never thought I'd see the day where Linux replaces an entire governing body. That should make for an interesting deomcracy. Everybody can write their own laws!
  • they already farm out thier tech-support lines to India. Perhaps MS knowledge will become scarce in India and they'll have to move the call center back to the US.

    Right on India, smart move. Here's to hoping the US government won't be the last to migrate over to common sense.

    • Right on India, smart move. Here's to hoping the US government won't be the last to migrate over to common sense.

      Oh, silly foreigners are always doing crazy stuff like this. How about that flash-in-the-pan metric system! [snicker] It'll never last. And right now my outdoor thermometer says 25 degrees and damn is it cold out there... just like it's supposed to be. ;)

  • by inquisitive (212340) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @09:39PM (#4963790) Homepage
    In India, labour is cheap. You can hire fairly good prog/sys adm for 1/4th-1/8th the cost of a moderately good American. Linux will help the small businesses, and provide more opportunities to folks (like me) who plan to enter the SMB market with Linux/FOSS consultancy services. (OK, currently I am outside India)

    Considering the fact that US Gov/MS have a penchant for interfering, trying to strongarm anyone (including democracies), the less dependent we are on US tech, better for us.

    The biggest gains from going F/OSS should happen in the Military, Edu and SMB areas, that's my guess.

    BTW, stop trashing India folks. Yoga, decimal system, astronomy, Ayurveda (nature medicine), Meditation, Buddhism, Karate, Sanskrit etc originated in India. Do you westerners ever consider that? All that is FREE! No Patents, No Copyrights.
  • by Dunark (621237) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @10:11PM (#4963899)
    The loss of sales in India is going to be the least of Microsoft's problems. Imagine what's going to happen when all the new Linux expertise from India goes looking for jobs in other countries. Microsoft's argument about Linux being more expensive to operate is going to go down the flusher very fast.
  • Once Linux gets a large user-base (yes, You can consider it large now, but you'd be wrong in this context, 'kay?), there will be a shitload of user complaints. Finally something will be done about many of the very serious (to a USER, not a techie) problems which Linux faces. And hopefully, our solutions will be better than those of windows.
    Remember: Options, not changes!
  • Wow... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Salubri (618957) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @11:15PM (#4964182) Journal
    I can't believe what I'm reading today. I really cannot.

    From what I can tell this article was origionally put up on slashdot in order to show that Linux and open software were starting to gain some "marketshare" in the global scheme of things with the Indian government maneuvering to deploy the OS.

    So what do I find really as I scroll through the comments today? I see people claiming that this is bad because other countries might be using something other than Microsoft, which employs americans. I see racist comment after racist comment. In fact I've seen so much of it in this thread that I am sickened by this.

    If this is the case, you might ask why I'm responding or why I even bothered to continue reading. Maybe I'm a glutton for punishment, or maybe rather than get sickened and let things bother me it gives me the fuel to give a constructive criticism. Either way I'm compelled to speak my mind. Mod me in any direction that seems appropriate.

    First of all, I'm having a little trouble seeing how this is costing any american jobs. From everything that I'm gathering here, the Indian government is, by and large, an undeveloped market in computing. No one is losing their job because linux is being used. No market is shrinking over this. The only thing that can be said is that Microsoft is not EXPANDING it's influence into India further. Microsoft still has all the lucritive markets it had before.

    Secondly, I've seen many comments about the level of filth or inferiority of the people living over there. Perhaps people have had it too easy for a while to really see one point. In a country like the US, with a relatively strong economy and relatively low unemployment, it is much easier for a person to pull themselves up by the bootstraps. It is much easier to use programs provided by either public or private institutions to train in a field and get a job. What if that was taken away? What if you were born into an environment that wasn't as cushioned? You'd be struggling just as much as anyone there, or anywhere else where life is hard.

    Are jobs being lost in the US? Absolutely. Wal-Mart is killing off Mom-and-Pop shops. American companies are killing off other american companies all the time. American companies are even doing things like moving to other spots in the country where employment is low. I can remember the day that the factory in my hometown shut it's doors because the local union employees refused to work for less than $20.00 an hour. They went somewhere more viable for employment. In the case I gave, South Carolina... where people were more than willing to bottle beer for $8.00 an hour. Just because jobs are being lost in America doesn't mean they're being relocated overseas. It's ignorant and just plain fucking stupid to think so.

    I do agree with one of the posters I saw here... Americans really do need to learn to tighten their belts if they want to stay competetive. You can't keep on earning a salary that allows you to buy/lease a new car every year, computer upgrades every 6 months, eating out every night, and living like a king to produce a product in a global economy where people with the same skill set are starving and willing to do the same job for much less. It's the reason that a Gibson Les Paul will cost $2000 while the Epiphone Les Paul is $600.

    ~shakes head~ Okay. I'm done ranting. I'll get off my soap box now. But it's like one poster said... people should be open about thier opinions.

    • Dear Salubri,

      We regret to inform you that your job has been terminated as we are opening an oversea's office.

      Have a Happy Holidays,

      (yes... its important to tighten our belts... YOU FIRST!)

    • You can't keep on earning a salary that allows you to buy/lease a new car every year, computer upgrades every 6 months, eating out every night, and living like a king to produce a product in a global economy where people with the same skill set are starving and willing to do the same job for much less.

      You can in a world without globalization. We've been doing it for decades. And somehow the idealistic demonstrators fail to realize that by protesting the Globalization movement, they are fighting to do just what they are most concerned about.

      Those people are throwing bricks through starbucks windows to keep people in third world countries poor, they just don't know it.

      It's damned sad is what it is. I've protested other things, but I did my homework about it first. I wish these people would focus their energy on thinking about the problem rather than railing against the system just because it's the flavor of the month.

      • I agree whole-heartedly.

        I think it's a common trend though. When people get angry, they get stupid. Everyone, including myself, does this. I've had to train myself to sit back, calm down, and examine all sides of the situation whenever I get pissed off.

      • Re:Wow... (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Tyndareos (206375)
        Those idealistic demonstrators you describe are not against globalization. They are in fact for globalization, but against the unfair globablization that most of the first world countries prefer, because they realise that real and honest globalization will have a serious impact on their economies that will have a very hard time to compete on almost any ground.

        Of course it's much easier for those being protested against to claim that the protesters are against globalization and against improvements for impoverished countries: even half-smart people who don't bother to inform themselves buy that.
  • this is big.. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by deego (587575) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @11:23PM (#4964218)
    The Linux in China thing was big, quite big.

    This, OTOH, is perhaps even bigger, for 2 reasons, imho: Language and a larger number of developers in India. Linux being adopted in a country on a massive scale means that you can be assured of a good and user-friendly distribution showing up. There was one in China and one in Brazil too (IIRC) but none of them was in English. The indian one is defninitely going to be in english (possibly with strong internationalization support). And a good linux is bad for M$ and very good for all the rest of us.

    Or, they might just adopt one of the standard distributions like Debian, and in the process, accelerate the move towards userfriendliness of that distro.

    • Re:this is big.. (Score:2, Informative)

      by code_martial (625004)
      The indian one is defninitely going to be in english

      No, that's not really so "definite". One of the major reasons why Linux has been chosen for this task is that it's easier to localize Linux into the scores of local Indian languages, rather than paying a proprietary vendor for this job. Considerable efforts have gone into this already. Consider IndiX [ernet.in], BharateeyaOO.o [ernet.in] and IndLinux [indlinux.org] (also here [tenet.res.in]), for example. There was even news that some high school students won a Hindi font design contest and rejected Microsoft's offer to buy the font, preferring to release it under GPL but I don't have a reference right now.

      GoI is very keen on localization so that the reach of computers can be extended to the non-english speaking rural population of India too.
  • by rks404 (267508) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @11:41PM (#4964287)
    I am shocked to see how quickly this post has turned into racist troll bait. It's amazing how ugly people's attitudes can turn with a downturn in the economy. So many people here are quick to blame Indians for the fact that there are so many jobs being shifted overseas - aren't the American companies and the US government that allows this also to blame? I do agree that we should be more protective of our domestic economy, but the people that are truly profiting off of cheap Indian labor are the American mega-corps like IBM, Sun and Oracle.

    This post has been eye-opening for me, as an unemployed Indian-American programmer, because I've always seen the entire Linux/Free Software/late 90's geek culture as a new kind of social phenomenon unencumbered by the baggage of the past, including racism and nationalistic xenophobia. The idea of all these foreign governments throwing their weight behind Linux means that there will be a larger userbase, more developers, and more vitality to the entire Free Software movement. But instead of greeting this with open arms, I see lots of people denigrating India and Indians. Yeah, more curry jokes and discussion about filthy, stupid Indians. Don't forget that your favorite OS was initially developed overseas by foreigners and is currently picking up lots of steam in Asia.

    • by Salubri (618957)
      ...I've always seen the entire Linux/Free Software/late 90's geek culture as a new kind of social phenomenon unencumbered by the baggage of the past, including racism and nationalistic xenophobia...
      You and I both man. I've worked crap job after crap job here in America to educate myself. I didn't turn around and blame others when I wasn't handed a cushy job with no degree just because I knew a couple programming languages and how to run linux.

      I don't even know what to really say that I haven't said in my previous post or you haven't said. However, I think I'm adding you to my friends list.

    • by m1a1 (622864) on Friday December 27, 2002 @01:33AM (#4964631)
      I see that you are a little unfamiliar with the rage that only us Americans seem to have. Simply put, we are an angry people. Some people think we just try to pass of blame onto other people to take it off of our own backs. This is sometimes true. But it would be much more accurate to say we just blame everyone for anything for the hell of it. When you get to a certain point of pissed off, you can't have enough targets. If you lose your job to someone willing to work 70 hours a week for 35 grand a year, the "hard working Indian immigrant" becomes a "daiper-head terroist" or "dot wearing misogynists", etc. It isn't that most Americans really hate Indians. Not at all. But when we get pissed we aren't afraid to say it. You will also notice more Americans are killed in violent rage by Americans every year than Indians. We just make fun of you, we kill each other.
      • >You will also notice more Americans are killed in violent rage by Americans every year than Indians.

        Considering the ratio of Americans to Indians available in the general vicinity of a hypothetical American killer, that is not a big surprise :)
    • This post has been eye-opening for me, as an unemployed Indian-American programmer, because I've always seen the entire Linux/Free Software/late 90's geek culture as a new kind of social phenomenon unencumbered by the baggage of the past, including racism and nationalistic xenophobia.

      I think (I hope!) you're getting this impression because you're looking at it the wrong way. I am, as usual, reading at +3, and so far I've seen one off-colour joke and no racism at all. People who regularly contribute to Slashdot and thus have the karma to post at automatic +2 are not racists and are not posting hate-speach - and I honestly believe that they are more representative of the actual contributing Open Source community than all the Anonymous Cowards and trolls.

  • by geo_2677 (593590) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @11:56PM (#4964327)
    This is good news indeed. As a linux programmer based in India, this certainly is more than a great news. All the more happy, just like many others out there, that Windows is being shown the door. Beleive it or not, the Open Source champions in India owe a lot of thanks to Bill Gates for this. If he hadn't come to India to make a publicity stunt of supporting the AIDS cause( ofcourse he is more worried about Linux than AIDS ) Linux would not have got so much attention in govt. circles and media as it does now. A few months ago any ordinary business man would know and talk only abt MS and Windows. Now he knows about Linux also. Now whenever the media talks MS it talks about Linux in the same breath. Free OS gets free publicity.
  • Shades of Mexico? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bogie (31020) on Friday December 27, 2002 @12:01AM (#4964343) Journal
    I'm not trying to put a damper on this, but lets not forget what happened in the past. I certainly remember hearing all sorts plans Mexico had for Linux. There were supposed to be millions of installs by now. Now its just remembered as one of Linux's higher profile failures. So while all the rah rah "let's embrace the underdog" talk is nice, get back to me linux hits >50% of the desktops.

    If India is as important to the world of software as everyone says it is, Microsoft isn't just going to walk away. They'll throw a billion or two into PR, lobbying, software give-aways, and FUD before giving up. And then they'll throw in a billion more. Remember money IS the only thing that matters(carve that into your dorm room desk). The fact that MS is competing with something that can be downloaded for free doesn't change anything.

    http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,4573 7, 00.html

  • precise, wide-reaching steps

    Alright, I'd like you to imagine a Battlemech or a Golem or an Ent--something large. Now, imagine how it walks... Could anything that big ever be described as having precise steps?

    Come one, guys "precise" and "wide-reaching steps" just don't go together.
    (I think so Brain, but where will find rubber pants our size? NARF!)

  • I haven't followed the computer development trends in India for almost a decade, but in the late 80s - early 90s, Unix was quite popular over there, with the IITs doing a lot of teaching about it and US companies opening offices in Bangalore and starting to do development there. UNIX and Open Source are much different business models, of course, but access to source, and decent operating systems that let you actually build things that work reliably, and tool-based development approaches are consistent between them, and obviously open-source environments mix better with the academic world over there than closed-source, and environments that let you do real work with modern software on older machines are a good match for third-world economies. It doesn't surprise me to see Linux taking hold.

    Of course, back then, while Microsoft was definitely one of the competitors, so was IBM's mainframe world, and to some extent other proprietary operating systems like VMS, since DEC machines were in the right price ranges.

  • by donutello (88309) on Friday December 27, 2002 @02:50AM (#4964843) Homepage
    The article is light on details but from reading it there were two things I gathered they were doing:

    1. When asking for bids, the requirements wouldn't specify Microsoft - rather specify the true requirements.

    2. Computer textbooks wouldn't teach Word or Excel - rather teach how to use word processors and spreadsheets.

    Both are things they should be doing regardless of Linux. It's asinine to do otherwise.
  • The leader of the article says so... however

    As far as concrete pro-Linux acts go, government tenders may soon stop specifying Microsoft or any other vendor's name while floating software tenders

    That's precise if you say "will soon" instead of "may soon". Otherwise it's just conjecture.

    The government is also setting up special interest groups with officials of industry and academia to find out how Linux can be deployed in e-governance, defence, education and so on.

    That's only wide-reaching if these groups actually get up and do something.

    Don't get me wrong - I think we'll see a lot of good IT out of India, and indeed there is already a lot of good stuff coming out of there. They are WAY ahead of supposedly developed neighbours yet early enough on the curve to avoid this Microsoft hold on the market. Think about it. In the US, Microsoft has dominated since DOS days, and people can't accept Linux, they think it's something new. IIRC however, Linux is now 10+ years old.

  • I'm a Sys Admin in Switzerland for a small company. I was unemployed here for almost a year before I took the overworked, underpaid job that I now have. I have since found out that a guy from Egypt (MCSE) and a guy from India (CS degree) both interviewed for the job. They were both turned down because they both expected almost double of what I am earning. Their level of IT education was higher than mine and they were both very competent I have heard. I'm envious that I don't have the education to ask for salaries like they did.

    The morals of the story:
    1.When times are hard you have to go with the times. This goes for workers of every nation, race and creed.
    2.An institution will go for the IT solution that provides the best price/performance solution.
    3.IT workers of all nations are dumb in that we don't form Unions. The exploitation of IT workers of all nations, seems to be similar to the sweat shops of the third world.

    Power to India for considering moving to Linux on a big scale. The independance gained for them is a major point given that MS (and other large US industries) are not above using the US government to strong arm nations into becoming franchises for those same industries. I only wish that some other governments, including those here in Europe *and* the US would have the same long term view, because MS is only going to get more and more mean and tricky the more they fear the Linux revolution.

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