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Indian Government Keen on Open Source 195

Posted by Zonk
from the subcontinent-with-taste dept.
manugarg writes "The Indian government is distributing free CDs of localized open sorce softwares like Firefox, OpenOffice.org etc. to encourage the use of computers across the country. ZDNet reports, 'The Indian government's decision to ship free software in this way likely will be a blow to Microsoft, which plans to release a low-cost version of Windows in India soon. Microsoft originally hoped to release its Windows XP Starter Edition--a low-cost, feature-restricted version of Windows XP--by the end of March, but it's now aiming for a June release.'"
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Indian Government Keen on Open Source

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  • Why Linux Sucks (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Linux is *not* user friendly, and until it is linux will stay with >1% marketshare.

    Take installation. Linux zealots are now saying "oh installing is so easy, just do apt-get install package or emerge package": Yes, because typing in "apt-get" or "emerge" makes so much more sense to new users than double-clicking an icon that says "setup".

    Linux zealots are far too forgiving when judging the difficultly of Linux configuration issues and far too harsh when judging the difficulty of Windows configuration i
    • Linux is *not* user friendly, and until it is linux will stay with >1% marketshare.

      Aww, you mean that linux will always have more than 1% marketshare and never go below 1%? I'm disapointed.
    • Re:Why Linux Sucks (Score:3, Informative)

      by ScrewMaster (602015)
      Well. And then there's Linspire.
    • Linux zealots are now saying "oh installing is so easy, just do apt-get install package or emerge package"

      Bah, using Linux is much easier than this; all I have to do is turn my computer on with the Knoppix disc in the drive, and I'm good to go; no fuss, no muss.

      Seriously, this is a wonderful thing. If Linux can get out there on the desktops in widespread use before Microsoft gets its crippleware in front of everyone, it will set a standard that will be hard for Microsoft to overcome. Somebody (prefe

    • Re:Why Linux Sucks (Score:3, Interesting)

      by suitepotato (863945)
      This is absolutely true and though I've been a geekoid sort for years, I don't have the genes for arrogant assumption of superiority based on my interests and likes versus the common world. Therefore, I get called a troll by Linux kids who weren't even alive when I was selling code I'd written.

      I remember before Linux was widely accepted and only the province of masochistic Unix veterans who fervently believed there had to be some way to salvage some of their investment in skill building in that area lest
      • I remember before Linux was widely accepted and only the province of masochistic Unix veterans who fervently believed there had to be some way to salvage some of their investment in skill building in that area lest their suffering have truly been for no better reason than to test their endurance come the day when it died.

        I remember 12 years ago when my first Linux was trivial to install, with sound and video. Yggdrasil plug and play Linux. I had used BSD at the University so one day I picked up a FreeBS
        • 12 years ago, I couldn't afford a CD-ROM that would work (had one hooked off the sound card. I had to download 32 floppies to get slackware installed. It was a pain in the ass getting sound working (I had the jumpers wrong initially) and modem -- which I gladly paid $150 to upgrade to 19.9. Heck, I had to learn all about SLIP just to do anything useful (which specifically was to use elm and archie and read newsgroups)

          You got lucky with Yggdrasil, I had to go BUY a mach32 to get X working (more floppies..)

          • I think my CD-ROM may have been off of my sound card also, but I had a SoundBlaster 16 with SCSI. Yeah, I have always felt fortunate that Yggdrasil was my first impression of Linux, Linux would have been much less impressive otherwise. Much like I feel fortunate my initial experience with assembly language was 6502 not 8086. ;-)
      • Re:Why Linux Sucks (Score:4, Insightful)

        by grcumb (781340) on Sunday May 29, 2005 @12:03AM (#12667990) Homepage Journal

        "I have not failed to notice that many of the same people are now whining about the totally integrated Windows XP is "teh suxx0r" compared to Linux because Linux has all these powerful command prompt things and all these configuration files and..."

        I'm not going to argue with the fact that you can find a troll for any position, but please consider that many (if not most) people who tout Linux over Windows do so based on their professional judgement. I don't think the folks guiding IBM and Novell's Linux policy use the word 'suxx0r' very often, for example.

        The problem with the 'totally integrated Windows XP' as you call it has been hashed over so many times, I'm surprised that a silverback like you would have missed why the kind of integration that Microsoft does is a Bad Thing. Read yesterday's thread on browser security for enlightenment if you're still puzzled.

        As for command lines and config files, the thing I like best about them is that they allow you to automate just about any process. But most desktop distros these days have GUIs too, so stating that command line and scripting are available for admins does not imply that we expect users to use them as well.

        I have a useful little one-line script that allows a new user to reset their desktop environment to the default. So if in the course of exploring their desktop environment things get messed up and they just want to go back to what they had at the start, they can run this script. Rather than force them to understand the CLI, I simply place an icon on their desktop that says, 'Cleanup'.

        Now that is the kind of integration that Linux admins love. It's called the 'toolkit approach', and it weaves together the capabilities of thousands of single purpose tools to achieve exactly the desired effect. To the computer user, it's just a 'magic happens' box.

        I'm not arguing that you can't do the same thing in Windows, by the way, only that *nix systems are designed to be open and flexible from the ground up, and Linux lovers tend to think that design is superior to Windows' monolithic approach.

        • <blockquote>As for command lines and config files, the thing I like best about them is that they allow you to automate just about any process. But most desktop distros these days have GUIs too, so stating that command line and scripting are available for admins does not imply that we expect users to use them as well.</blockquote>

          Except that's to often the exact situation. If you don't know how to edit the right files by hand (and what files they are and where they are) you are likely not goi
      • Re:Why Linux Sucks (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Aldric (642394)
        I think it will work in India, for the following reasons:

        1. XP Starter Edition is crippled. Hell, Windows 95 had more functionality.
        2. Microsoft are still going to be selling it at a price that's a months wages for most Indian people.

        Either they will use the open source stuff being given out free, or they will pirate XP Pro. Microsoft have got to be worried about the government of the country pushing open source though - you can bet there will be no government contracts coming to MS again from India.

      • Re:Why Linux Sucks (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Bongo (13261)

        Apple is only alive in its current state of health today because they took a monetary injection from Microsoft

        Really? Well, you probably didn't dwell on the point for brevity but I'd just like to expand that a little lest it become misleading.

        According to this article [com.com] the deal helped to deflect anti trust charges from Microsoft, as the deal included continuation of Office for Mac, and it was also a settlement over disputes with Apple, after MS stole Quicktime code.

        The justification for hating Microso

    • So you're complaining that id can't be bothered to actually package their software for Linux, when they do it for Windows?

      They could provide one RPM package, and let that be all. If they wanted to be nice they could provide a Debian package as well. But they don't. I just don't see how that means that 'Linux Sucks'.
    • Try that same argument, but this time include autopackage and lets which side it supports.
    • Re:Why Linux Sucks (Score:5, Insightful)

      by gvc (167165) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @10:10PM (#12667465)
      The parent makes 3 assertions:

      1. Linux is hard[er than Windows] to install.
      2. Linux doesn't run Windows games well.
      3. Linux is hard[er than Windows] for ordinary people to understand.

      I have recently installed Windows XP and MEPIS Linux. The latter was much easier. Didn't ask me about domain controllers, or make me hit single keys like "1" and "8" and "y" and choose between NTFS and FAT and choose between quick format and real format ... Not only that, MEPIS booted to a desktop in the time it took the XP disk to ask me the first text-mode question.

      Windows games don't run on Linux. So what? Lots of people use computers for communication, computation, and composition. If you want to play games, fine. Buy Windows or a PS2 ...

      You said, "what seems easy and natural to Linux geeks is definitely not what regular people consider easy."

      I suggest that the fact that Windows geekdom has somewhat more members than Linux geekdom makes Windows neither easy nor natural for "regular people."
      • maybe its just because i'm used to windows but i find that when linux works out of the box it does so butifully.

        when your hardware is for whatever reason not properly supported out of the box you can't just grab a makers driver cd and install the driver you need like you can on windows. If there is a linux driver at all it will most likely require figuring out where to get headers for your kernel and then hoping that the module will build ok against your kernel version.

        on the other hand linux does support
      • Re:Why Linux Sucks (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Vicissidude (878310) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @11:52PM (#12667923)
        You forget that the average person doesn't install Windows. It just magically comes with the computer.

        The average person wants to use their PC for running what PCs run, which include games. Tell an average person that Linux can't do something they want to do that Windows CAN do, and they'll choose Windows EVERY time. Being able to run games is a core function in many people's minds. My mom, for example, runs Solitaire and Oregon Trail 1. Tell her she couldn't run Oregon Trail 1 on Linux and she would never switch from Windows.

        And yes, the fact that Windows has more users than Linux DOES make it easier. When grandma has a question about Windows, she can ask the 12 year old neighbor boy. If grandma had a question about Linux, the 12 year old neighbor boy would go "WTF is this?" Then grandma would be SOL until I take the time to go to grandma's.
    • Re:Why Linux Sucks (Score:2, Interesting)

      by pallmall1 (882819)
      Actually, you've got a point. Installing apps on linux can be really overwhelming to new users. But, to moderately experienced users, installing apps does become a smooth process, and when the apps are installed on linux, they are better fit to the system's configuration than corresponding Windows apps. Consequently, they are more stable. They are also (mostly) free and don't have to be replaced or repurchased every couple of years.

      What will eventually lead to greater adoption of Linux is the growing n
      • Actually that's only true when the app your installing is for the specific version of the specific distro. Sometimes you get a bit of leeway in version minor number, and with luck a closely related distro might be bent into running your app, especially if it's a simple app. Elsewise dependancies and settings and such will occupy quite a bit of time before you find out it won't work without a recompile and then maybe it will.
        Where linux usually shines is in the install of the distro (if you don't have
    • Re:Why Linux Sucks (Score:2, Insightful)

      by EEPS (829675)
      Wow, TFA didn't mention Linux once, and the first post I see is flaming linux. You say linux Zealot this and linux Zealot that, well I say you are a Winodows Zealot. TFA is about open source software in general, most likely on the Windows platform. If you have a problem with Open source in general... then thats a whole different thing.
    • Oh, my god, you're right! if the Indian Government goes through with this, Western companies will move their offshore video game playing from Bangalore to Shanghai.
    • Why Computers Suck (Score:3, Interesting)

      by soloport (312487)
      You're using a made-for-Windows game as an illustration? Ok.

      How do I get regular, made-for-Linux apps to install on Linux? Simple: I fire up Synaptic (a GUI based installer). It prompts me for my root password (same as "Administrator" on a well-managed Windows box). It loads the hundreds and hundreds of packages available to me (which are free). I search for and select a package (or several at once) and click the "Proceed" button.

      Is that so tough? Well, perhaps is is if you've NEVER done it before
    • Actually, Linux market share may increase not because it grabs more "home" desktops, but because it will gain more "business" desktops. Linux flavors like Sun's Java Desktop and Novell/SUSE offerings are geared towards the business desktop. Most business applications (like Open Office) install just as easily as their Windows' counterparts, or will come pre-configured and installed with the OS. The crap one has to go through to install something like Quake 3 actually works in Linux's favor for the business d
    • I guess that's why Linux is so suitable in India, long a home to every kind of zealot ever found on Earth.
    • Or, you could run Ubuntu.

      Running quake is as easy as installing Ubuntu (answer a couple of questions like "name", "date", and "is it ok for me to wipe your hard-drive to install", then run the package manager, and install the nvidia driver, and then download and run the quake installer.

      No, the installer isn't on CD, but that will change in time.

      You still need to download quake updates with windows to play on most of the online servers in any case.

      smash.

    • Well the installation of the base os is easier on many linux distributions than windows, especially if your using modern hardware like SATA.. try installing windows and you'l need a floppy drive to load the sata drivers from, and if you blink when it says "press F6 to load a third party driver" you'l miss it and the install will fail.

      There's also the issue installs on windows all work differently, you get executeable installers that all look and behave differently, and then you get msi files and who knows
  • by get out of debt (886275) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @08:46PM (#12667082) Homepage
    Great woo hoo I got a CD. Now all i need is a pc, monitor and keyboards.
    • Oops i totally forgot about a steady source of power.
    • Great woo hoo I got a CD. Now all i need is a pc, monitor and keyboards.

      If you're building a Windows machine
      then the hardware us the cheap part.
    • Simputer [simputer.org]

      New ! PicoPeta Simputers Pvt Ltd unveils Amida Simputer for the retail market

      The Simputer is a low cost portable alternative to PCs, by which the benefits of IT can reach the common man.

      It has a special role in the third world because it ensures that illiteracy is no longer a barrier to handling a computer.

      The key to bridging the digital divide is to have shared devices that permit truly simple and natural user interfaces based on sight, touch and audio.

      The Simputer meets these demands t

  • Tell us something we didnt know. What was interesting to me though was

    Eventually, the government plans to release CDs in all of the 22 official languages of India.

    Holy crap, just how many languages exactly does a country need! I know its a big place but 22! It must require 95% of all IT resources just to localise software. How do they manage to find time for offshore work?
    • by jpu8086 (682572) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @08:55PM (#12667128) Homepage
      Those 22 languages (AFAIK, there are only 18 official languages, but maybe this has changed recently) are the ones spoken by at least one million people.

      There are many other "minor" languages spoken by other people.

      Mind you, these are not dialects. These are full-blown unique languages with unique written scripts (however, many of them do share common traits).

      It is amazing how we are able to maintain a democracy, let alone a country.
    • >Holy crap, just how many languages exactly does a country need!

      I know you weren't passing a judgment, but the number of languages in a country is not about a "need." It's more about the diversity of cultural/ethnical heritage. Also, I imagine the recognition of different languages as "official" probably contribute quite a bit to the preservation of different culture/ethnicity and improve political relations between them.

      • I'm all for cultural diversity but what struck me about it was that if India is anything like Ireland, there will always be someone demanding the govt provide this service ot that in Gailge. For 2 languages its a pain but doable, 22 languages though I would have though would lead to an administrative nighmare.

        I assume Hindi is accepted as standard language so people can actually communicate with each other.
      • There's nothing wrong with diversity.

        Having common "official" languages is useful, Canada even has two at only 35 million people.

        That said, I prefer diversity -- being able to communicate with each other should be on the basis of learning each others' language, not submitting to a state-sponsored one.
    • People who think of India as just another country don't realize how vast and diverse it is. It's really its own continent, with over twice the population of Europe and probably twice the cultural diversity in language, custom, and religion.

      If you thought about India as a federation of many different nations with their own markets, languages, and so on, you'd be closer to the mark.

      It's a fascinating place and I'd like to visit it someday. India is an enormous and invaluable repository of human culture and
    • by The Original Yama (454111) <lists@sridhar.dhanapalan@com> on Saturday May 28, 2005 @11:26PM (#12667785) Homepage
      Off the top of my head, India has about 1,600 (yes, that's ONE THOUSAND SIX HUNDRED) recognised languages and dialects, and probably many more.

      From the CIA World Factbook [cia.gov]:

      English enjoys associate status but is the most important language for national, political, and commercial communication; Hindi is the national language and primary tongue of 30% of the people; there are 14 other official languages: Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, Gujarati, Malayalam, Kannada, Oriya, Punjabi, Assamese, Kashmiri, Sindhi, and Sanskrit; Hindustani is a popular variant of Hindi/Urdu spoken widely throughout northern India but is not an official language
    • My friend Indians are a friendly sort of people. But they love there own culture and own languages. So just like in America people have different license plates from state to state in India they just have different languages. It is not that bad, and most of them all atleast understand and speak hindi. Unless you goto South India where one may need to speak english.
  • That's great (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TheWingThing (686802) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @08:50PM (#12667107)
    As an Indian myself, one of the things that really plague users of Indian language versions of software is the non-standardized fonts and encodings. Most of them do not use UTF-8, and non-standard fonts are all over the place. This effort I think will promote the creators of software and content publishers to adhere to a standard, if the Govt initiatives gain a big userbase. Try visiting some Indian language websites, and you'll see what I mean. You need a custom font for every single website, it drives you crazy. I think the Govt efforts will encourage Indian language publishers (all 20+ languages) to adhere to standards like UTF-8.
    • I think you're probably right, but I still find it interesting that you're talking about linguistic standards in this way. Language (spoken and written) were, after all, among the first "standards" ever employed by the human race.
      • sure you could distribute text online in the form of images but that would be horriblly inefficiant

        so we need standard ways of giving each charactor a reference computers can deal with and unicode (usually encoded into a utf-8 bytestream) has become the standard means of doing this.
  • by lecithin (745575) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @08:51PM (#12667112)
    Current Slashdot Submission - Linux: Indian Government Keen on Open Source

    Last Slashdot Submission - Ask Slashdot: Using Computer Stores to Spread Open Source?

    Lemmie think here...

    Future Submission? Apu: Thank You, Come Again!
    • He is suggesting the next step is to find Linux distro CDs at convence stores for like $5 a disk.

      A beginning is what many people do: distribute freely. E,g, I ordered Ubuntu Hoary disks both i386&amd64, gave some of them to a friend, keep one and I'll leave the rest for the public at my former university. Good thing is, that generally there have always been a significant number of linux people.

  • umm (Score:2, Insightful)

    by TheKidWho (705796)
    Windows XP Starter Edition is the stupidest idea ever...
    • Re:umm (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I don't know.

      I think filling tubes with a flammable liquid and lighting them on fire to simulate light sabers is a little stupider than Windows XP Started Edition :)
      • Re:umm (Score:1, Offtopic)

        I think filling tubes with a flammable liquid and lighting them on fire to simulate light sabers is a little stupider than Windows XP Started Edition :)

        Yeah, but it's not like there's anyone stupid enough to actually do that...oh wait...nevermind. Forget I posted :P
    • you have some strong contenders to Windows XP Starter Edition:

      • windows 1.0
      • windows 3.0
      • windows 3.1
      • windows 95
      • windows 98
      • windows ME (very strong, this one)
      • windows 2000
      • windows XP
      • windows XP service pack 2
      • windows "longhorn" (or, as some cartoon caracter would say, "fuuuuutuuuure!!!!"

      maybe time for another /. poll?

    • It's pretty well named though.

      It's like calling a pack of Marlboro 60s a "Marlboro Starter Pack"
    • by Znork (31774)
      It's also a perfect example of the damage that the intellectual monopoly exceptions cause to the free market.

      Here we have people getting paid for spending time with making a product less useful, directly damaging a small part of the total wealth of society, in the attempt to keep prices up. Market vandalism.

      That could not happen in a competetive free market without monopoly protections.
  • Downloadable version (Score:3, Informative)

    by TheWingThing (686802) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @09:02PM (#12667164)
    The Indian language CD (currently, Tamil only) can be downloaded from http://www.ildc.in/ [www.ildc.in] - the website maintained by the government. But it's already slowed down, try after a few days. Most SW is available for both Linux and Windows.
  • Shouldn't India be worrying about more important things like reducing the population, and feeding it? Computers, and even moreso such specific things like what development model is used for software, are so trivial when compared with war and starvation.
    • Re:empahsis (Score:5, Insightful)

      by be-fan (61476) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @09:25PM (#12667282)
      Um, what war plagues India? Border skirmishes with Pakistan? War plagues the American heartland more than it plagues India...

      Anyway, hippies amuse me. What is the only way to deal with starvation? Money! How do you make money? By spending less, and making more. Linux should help the Indian government do both.
      • Re:empahsis (Score:3, Insightful)

        by valentyn (248783)
        Economists amuse me as well. The only way to deal with starvation is food.
        • That's a very naive way of thinking, but unfortunately all too common. In the third world, a lot of the time it's not the resource that's the problem, but distribution. Food is easy to get. There is a huge surplus of it in the world. It's getting the food to where it needs to go that's the problem. The same is often true for healthcare. When told that 60% of people in a country lack access to health services, the "obvious" solution is "build more hospitals!" However, in many countries, the hospitals are und
    • Re:empahsis (Score:3, Insightful)

      by KingSkippus (799657)

      Not that I'm a big fan of outsourcing because it totally sucks for those of us left in the tech industry in the U.S., but...

      By worrying about things such as computers and development models, India is vastly improving its economic situation, raising the standard of living for its citizens and enabling itself to provide basic necessities of which you speak.

      If I were Inidan, I would see their (our, I guess, if I were Indian) progress over the past decade as an extremely hopeful sign of economic power that

      • Not that I'm a big fan of outsourcing because it totally sucks for those of us left in the tech industry in the U.S., but...

        You know, first, you're not the only country where companies do outsourcing, so forgive me if I'm not sorry for you guys. Second, judging outsourcing is always relative, and it's always better for those who get work because some companies bring them work. Poorer countries also need to raise from poverty, and foreign companies investing in this form or the other, is a help, even if i
    • Shouldn't India be worrying about more important things like reducing the population, and feeding it?

      If you leave those two problems alone long enough, they'll solve each other.

      (Note to humorless mods: this is a joke!)
    • Shouldn't India be worrying about more important things like reducing the population, and feeding it? Computers, and even moreso such specific things like what development model is used for software, are so trivial when compared with war and starvation.

      Yup, one more american who "knows" how the world looks like outside the US, and giving "advice". No wonder, really. And not even exasperating anymore.

  • piracy (Score:2, Insightful)

    Well this is good to hear, but the biggest problem in India is software piracy--as long as people continue to get WinXP and MSOffice cdroms for less than a dollar, I don't see how their (our) ignorant minds will agree to trash Microsoft and go open source...
  • by Senor_Programmer (876714) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @09:15PM (#12667227)
    One thing that has always puzzled me is why Microsoft has not verticall segmented windows. It'a a common practice with hardware. Remember all the different model typewriters IBM used to market, or HP and the range of printers.

    I used to sell computers back in the 80's. I'd ask the cstomer. What do you want to do with your computer? The usual answer was, "Oh, just some basic word processing". So I'd sell the adequate hardware and software to do that.

    These days I bet the most common answer is.
    Word processing, internet, photography, and taxes.
    Entry level windows, if it did all these things, economically, would sell like hotcakes. Wordpad and notepad are not quite enough and office is way too much for most people. Why doesn't Microsoft have a cokkection of office products. Home office, law office, accountants office, presenters office, Super office(does it all).

    They should also split by processor. 32 bit vs 64 bit and not one product for all.

    The models for splitting products by functionality and performance to maximize overall profit are well known, yet MS seems to have ignored to opportunity to apply this to software.

    IMO they are a decade late and billions short with their entry level windows...
    • because they don't want you to be happy with a suitable product. they're trying to make money, not make good software.

      the way they've handled office document compatibility is so appalling they must either be completely retarded, or they must intentionally make things difficult so you always need the latest, high-price office suite.

      XP Starter is almost completely unusable for modern computing. that's how it's supposed to be. to get you hooked a little, and then pay for the expensive full version.
    • The models for splitting products by functionality and performance to maximize overall profit are well known, yet MS seems to have ignored to opportunity to apply this to software.

      There were versions of Word Perfect for medical and law offices, at a premium price.

      Microsoft sold Office components you could mix and match and customize as needed throughout your organization, if your needs were simpler, there was always Microsoft Works or a Works suite with Microsoft Word. Currently, Student-Teacher Office,

  • by Osrin (599427) * on Saturday May 28, 2005 @09:18PM (#12667246) Homepage
    ... has actually worked with the Government of India. Suggesting that they have a single preference to something is like suggesting that all beer tastes good. (have you tried that stuff from the UK?).

    The GoI is many millions of people scattered through hundreds of local, regional and national departments. The likelihood of seeing a common policy position through all those independent individuals is slim.

    The GoI will continue to grow its IT capability through as many channels as possible, promoting many different technologies, of which Linux will be one and Windows will be another. Market forces pretty much make the selection from there forwards.

    The OSS community has been all to quick to jump up and down heralding the wonders of other government decisions in the past... there is a lesson that needs to be learned though, things like this are just one small step on a much longer and much more complex journey.

    There is still a lot of work to be done...
    • Agree. I'm going to wonder what impression 'government distribution' of Linux is going to create on the common man. Especially since anything else the government does or distributes -- being it statefunded education or condoms -- is perceived as being low-quality and inferior by the masses and tolerated simply because it's free.
  • Free vs Free. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Duncan3 (10537) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @09:21PM (#12667259) Homepage
    Linux is free as in chai in India, but so is Windows Server 2003 Enterprise edition.

    The localization is the key feature here, and has nothing to do with price. But watch for the 100's of posts about cost anyway ;)
  • An expensive set of brakes will be needed to stop this. Hmmm, a visit by the US trade secretary ? Buying up all the CDs ? I think this is more of a ploy by the policticans to squeeze money out of MS than a real attempt to push the software out there.
  • I hear that the version of these open source packages being distributed in India check the CPU ID and won't work on P-4s and Athalons.

  • I hate Windows and I'm actively trying to get my Linux desktop working. To achieve this, I need it to run all my current programs or equivalent (audio, video, file sharing and programming languages).

    My current experience has shown that this task may require the following:

    * search for obscure drivers hosted on sites shut-down years ago. * delve into myriads of configuration files (and or GUIs) each with its own (sometimes arbitrary) syntax, even for the most trivial app. * risk messing your OS with a r
    • * search for obscure drivers hosted on sites shut-down years ago. * delve into myriads of configuration files (and or GUIs) each with its own (sometimes arbitrary) syntax, even for the most trivial app. * risk messing your OS with a recompile. * read dozens of pages worth of howto webpages that may or may not apply to your machine, man pages and non-sensical error logs among other things, none of which are sure to be worth your time (either because you are looking in the wrong place or because it's someth

    • Thing is, I am less and less interested to read such "unsuccess-stories" recently. Why ? Because they are almost all from newbies, frequently not just linux newbies, but in everything [as judged from their writing, use of words and concepts and tools]. In other cases I frequently feel some sort of - maybe wrong word - superiority, meaning that they try something and if they fail then that's it, don't try, don't touch, don't ask, but start complaining and bashing, and drawing mostly [if not always] wrong con
  • In India, there are 1.1 billion people.

    So when somebody in India says "You're one in a million", there are 1,100 people out there just like you.

  • As software outsourcing to India has been deemed too costly, the Indian government has legislated that it be given away.
  • Most significant achievement of this effort is not just releasing free software in a CD. Much of this software is already downloadable from elsewhere. But the government was able to buy a large number of quality Unicode fonts (more than 100) from the publishers and released them in public domain.

    Quality and free fonts had long been a problem in the free software development in Tamil language. The OCR software released also would be useful in releasing etexts of the vast literature available in Tamil as

The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth. -- Niels Bohr

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