Tamil Nadu – India may shut door on Microsoft

The Tamil Nadu government, which is on a fast-track pushing the state to the top in the Indian IT sector, has almost shut its door on the software giant, Microsoft, preferring the Open Source Systems (OSS) for reasons of costs and easy migrating capabilities.

“Initially, 99 per cent of government systems have been running on Microsoft systems but then 2007 will be a watershed year for the state IT sector. We are fast migrating to Linux operating systems which are so much cheaper and can be operated at low cost, besides offering continuous updates and freedom from viruses,” says Mr C. Umashankar, managing director of state-owned ELCOT, vested with the responsibility of overseeing such ambitious government projects as e-governance, enumerating the beneficiaries of the free TV scheme, family ration cards and the free sari-dhoti distribution.

“We have already dispatched 6,500 Linux systems to village panchayats and another 6,100 Acer desktop systems with Suse Linux operating systems are on their way. We are procuring 20,000 desktop systems for schools, which will run only on Suse Linux. Remaining 30 desktop systems will also migrate as and when the new machines arrive,” Mr Umashankar told this newspaper.

He said all the ELCOT servers were on Redhat Linux and the government IT company’s 28-seater software development wing was fully on Suse Linux.

Source: Mandriva Blog, Richard Thurston ZDnet UK Blog

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