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Key Indian IT services organization moving to Linux

Posted by egovernance on January 7, 2007

Key Indian IT services organization moving to Linux

The Electronics Corp. of Tamil Nadu (ELCOT), a government-owned organization that delivers IT services to the southern India state of Tamil Nadu, has decided that its projects will be deployed on open source software, including Linux.

ELCOT decided in favor of open source software because of its cost is lower than proprietary software from Microsoft and other vendors, C. Umashankar, managing director of ELCOT, said Wednesday. Open source software also provides better ease of operation and higher security, he added.

The company will migrate from Microsoft at the server and desktop levels, according to Umashankar. “My job is to save cost, and open source software delivers the same if not more efficiency at a marginal cost,” he added.

ELCOT negotiated with Microsoft to lower the price of Windows XP Home Edition to 500 Indian rupees (US$11), but the company was not willing to cut prices on the software, Umashankar said.

Tamil Nadu is a key state in India, and the decision by ELCOT to move entirely to open source could lead to the state government adopting Linux, according to analysts. ELCOT has implemented a number of applications for the government running on Linux, and the government is awakening to the benefits of open source, Umashankar said.

ELCOT is also a procurement agency for computers and software for the Tamil Nadu government.

Another south Indian state, Kerala, announced last year that it had decided to promote free, open source software in education, but would not make it compulsory. The government would like to avoid a monopoly by Microsoft and would like to provide equal opportunity for Linux and Microsoft’s Windows operating system in schools, said M.A. Baby, a minister in Kerala’s Communist government, in August.

India’s federal government has, however, declined to take a stand in favor of either proprietary software or free or open source software. Some Indian federal and state agencies have been beneficiaries of Microsoft’s programs to promote the use of IT in schools.

The IDG News Service is a Network World affiliate.

 

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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.

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