Governance and Right To Information

Governance in INDIA

Can Tamil Nadu Live Without Microsoft?

Posted by egovernance on January 6, 2007

Can Tamil Nadu Live Without Microsoft?


Tamil Nadu is one of the richest states in
India. It is flourishing these days because of receiving a huge number of jobs from foreign companies both in IT outsourcing and manufacturing sector. So, its state government can afford Microsoft products more easily than many other Indian states. However, Tamil Nadu state government officials feel that they should go for Open Source (OS) software as soon as possible. Rather too soon perhaps- within 2007.


The Inquirer reported:

THE TAMIL Nadu state government will shift from an operation that is 99 percent VoleWare to Open Sauce software over the next year.

In an interview with the Deccan Chronicle, Mr C Umashankar, who is the managing director of state-owned Electronics Corporation of Tamil Nadu (ELCOT), which is running the project, said that
India does not need Vole.




Fast, Indeed. Microsoft officials tried to convince Tamil Nadu government not to go for OS software. However, Tamil Nadu government found Linux much cheaper than Microsoft’s products. Guru Prasath Salem wrote in his blog:

He said a top official from Microsoft
India had met him twice to convince him to continue with MS products. The official offered the XP operating system for about Rs.7000 while he quoted Rs.500. “I explained to her that for a mere Rs.300, I could get the entire operating system, office productivity software and a wide range of utility tools, such as DVD/CD writing software, database software, multimedia editing software, vector map-drawing software plus a whole range of software development tools. Also, I have the option of downloading this entire package in DVD media and not even pay that Rs.300, which is the media cost and not the software charges,” said the ELCOT chief, an IT expert himself besides being a senior IAS bureaucrat.


So far, so good. However, if Tamil Nadu government really wants to make this project a success then it should arrange training program for its officials first. If the government officials do not get skilled in using OS software then this project will never be successful.


3 Responses to “Can Tamil Nadu Live Without Microsoft?”

  1. I believe as Linux gets easier and easier, this shouldn’t be a problem. I see that everyone (even Linux promoters) keep harping on the difficulty of Linux compared to Windows. Nobody was “trained” on Microsoft software. It’s intuitive and simple. FOSS is getting there are pretty damn fast! Maybe an year at maximum and we won’t even be thinking of training people on FOSS software.

  2. […] Can Tamil Nadu Live Without Microsoft? […]

  3. Michael said

    Hi Sir,

    Good to see that you are going ahead with Linux. but are you going the open sourse way ? If you are you should use free os and not the paid version of Linux which is again like windows. Please use OpenSuse and then the news will receive a overwhelming response.

    Michael OSS Community

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