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Indian Companies Embracing Linux Faster Than Ever 169

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the slicing-the-pie dept.
cpatil writes "CNBC-TV 18 India has just announced that India's largest Insurance company, LIC(Life Insurance Corporation of India) sealed a deal with Red Hat to use its desktop and server software. LIC has roughly 160 Million customers, making it a non-trivial deal. Leslie D'Monte over at rediff also has a closer look at Linux deployment in India."
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Indian Companies Embracing Linux Faster Than Ever

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  • by MarkByers (770551) on Saturday April 08, 2006 @06:43PM (#15092687) Homepage Journal
    They are probably embracing Windows faster than ever too.
    • That's probably true. I'm sure general computer use is growing so fast that they're embracing software left and right. The real question is how much market share each respective OS has.
    • But this is a golden oppurtunity for Linux, I beleieve.
      Since in India, automation is just coming up for most systems, linux has an
      advantage (ok, rather less disadvantage) compared to that of developed countries,
      wherein the systems were all under development even before very stable Linux
      systems were a reality.

      Now we can see how well Linux can match up with its greatest rival.

    • I am sure that you are right in a way - with computers becoming more accessible, Windows usage will also go up. However, I believe that Linux has the faster growth rate - just because it is free (as in beer).

      To pull a statistic out of thin air, more than 95% desktops in the home user market use pirated versions of Windows. With the average incomes, it is simply not possible to buy software that is priced in USD. Windows costs more than what an average engineer makes in a month. The more educated folks ar
      • 99% of people hate people who pull statistics out of thin air to create an argument.
      • Do you have anything to back that number up?
      • I agree that windows costs more than an engineer makes in a month. If you want to legitimately buy Windows XP, MS Office, and MS Visual Studio Architect (say, you want to be a programmer for windows), it'll set you back more than I think is worth it.

        So their choices are to starve and buy those, pirate them, or use linux. The latter two just need an okay internet connection and a bittorrent client.

        I don't doubt that there's a lot of piracy in developing countries. That's probably one reason why MS is making
      • 95% eh? WRONG.

        Sure there are a large number of pirated copies, but it's nowhere near 95%. Most likely the largest portion of Windows users are running whatever came installed on their Dell/Gateway/HP machine.

        That's the problem with pulling statistics "out of thin air" - you run the risk of making a really silly statement.

        • by bain_online (580036) on Sunday April 09, 2006 @01:22AM (#15093774) Homepage Journal
          Windows users are running whatever came installed on their Dell/Gateway/HP machine.
          You don't really get India mentality. Nobody (consumers atleast) buys dell/hp/gateway except for laptops. Most of the machines delivered at homes are hand assembled by local supplier who buys motherboards and other stuff in bulk. They have zero knowledge and just install pirated copies of windows to "test" the machine and deliver.
          We at PLUG :- Pune Linux User Group (Pune is a mid size city in central india.) have very less resistance in installing linux on the PC's we find at our grasp as long as whatever software the person wanted the pc for is provided on linux. Games are the most problamatic feature of a standard windows pc however and we so far have no solution for it. Transgaming/wine are all ok but unfortunately they don't garuntee all the games on a "1500 games mania" dvd bought for under 500Rs (20USD) will run.
          • From what I've seen elsewhere (not India though), in "non western countries", I expect small companies to work more or less the same way using assembled machines. (actually in Europe a lot of small companies use assembled machines as well).

            They should be able to run Linux without trouble, however the availability of accounting software remains a problem.
        • There's nothing wrong with pulling statistics "out of thin air" - it's just that 35-40% of the people who do fail to pull reasonable sounding numbers.
    • by arvindn (542080) on Saturday April 08, 2006 @08:39PM (#15093037) Homepage Journal
      Not true. Speaking from first hand experience in both countries, linux usage in India is much higher than in America both in the home and office. There have been a number of genuine large-scale Windows-to-linux switches, as opposed to just talking about it or migrating a dozen servers in a corner somewhere. The average bank clerk (my mom included :-) is actually using linux terminals on a day-to-day basis.
    • They are probably embracing Windows faster than ever too.

      Not if they are paying for it... The problem is Microsoft more or less took care of the casual 'easy' piracy with the Software Activation / hardware fingerprinting they started with WinXP and later OS. Yes, there are cracks out there, but for the most part Microsoft is finally making it darn inconvenient to use a bootleg copy of their kit.

      I spent a few months in India last year and probably will spend another couple this year. Anything produced dome
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 08, 2006 @07:00PM (#15092757)
    As an Indian, I am quite surprised that they went with an offering from Red Hat. Red Hat has long been known to support GNOME as their main desktop. However, KDE is the leader when it comes to supporting the popular Indic languages like Urdu, Tamil, Hindi, and Bengali.

    I myself use the Tamil support of KDE, and have long found it superior to that of GNOME (even for recent releases). More of the core KDE applications have translations available, and most of are a higher quality than those of GNOME. That is not to say that GNOME is unable to support those languages; that is clearly not the case! The fact remains, however, that KDE is the better option at this time when it comes to displaying Indic scripts, and offering Indic translations.

    • OK, you think KDE is better than Gnome?

      But what is better for Hindi and Urdu -- Vi or Emacs?

      Sigh... but I guess a bit of flame war is a good change of pace in this dull story about Linux deployment in a traditional Windows markets.

    • by MarkByers (770551) on Saturday April 08, 2006 @07:47PM (#15092916) Homepage Journal
      KDE is the leader when it comes to supporting the popular Indic languages like Urdu, Tamil, Hindi, and Bengali.

      If you could link to some statistics it might be interesting to see.

      According to Gnome's website [gnome.org].

      Gnome v2.14

      Hindi: 94.10% complete.
      Tamil: 66.64% complete.
      Benglai: 80.33% complete.

      According to the KDE's website [kde.org]:

      Kde stable:

      Hindi: 57.06% complete.
      Tamil: 66.13% complete.
      Bengali: 23.93% complete.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        The problem with your statistics is that they're measuring very different things. Recall that GNOME and KDE are structured quite differently. KDE is a far tighter distribution system than GNOME.

        Those statistics are for the very core of GNOME: GTK+, GLib, GDK, the GNOME desktop and taskbar, Metacity, and applications like gnome-terminal. It does not take into account GAIM, for instance, which is a separate project.

        The stats for KDE, on the other hand, not only include the comparable base libraries and applic
        • Wrong! (Score:3, Informative)

          by eldacan (726222)
          If you cared to click the link you could have seen that for each language, you have both developer-libs and desktop percentages. For example:
          Hindi [gnome.org]: dev 99.84%, desktop 93.39%
          Tamil [gnome.org]: dev 73.38%, desktop 65.81%

          Now clicking on 'desktop' for Tamil you have the details for each app. Indeed, GAIM is not in there because it's not an official GNOME app, but you do have Epiphany and Nautilus (the GNOME equivalents to Konqueror), or Ekiga (previously Gnome-Meeting), or Totem (movie player), ...

          Of course the KDE stats
      • Since the GP claims to use "Tamil" he probably has basic (highly unlikely) knowledge of Hindi and no knowledge of Bengali.
        • Since the GP claims to use "Tamil" he probably has basic (highly unlikely) knowledge of Hindi and no knowledge of Bengali.

          Since the grandparent's post was in well formed English, I find your comment perplexing. Mayhaps he was researching Indian language support for non-English users?

        • What do you base that on? From what I've seen, most Indians in the business world know their native language, and learn Hindi and English in addition to that as a minimum. However, while they may be able to speak several Indian languages, they may not be able to read/write the scripts of those languages.
    • KDE is very well supported under RedHat. Go bark up a different tree.
    • As an Indian...I myself use the Tamil support of KDE, and have long found it superior to that of GNOME

      Interesting the Gnome/KDE Flamewar has spread to India. Fanboyism is a fundemental human trait I guess. If you took 2 Linux machines to New Guinea and gave them to the natives you'd find them waring over Gnome and KDE within an hour. I personally think KDE sucks.

    • As an Indian, I am quite surprised that they went with an offering from Red Hat. Red Hat has long been known to support GNOME as their main desktop. However, KDE is the leader when it comes to supporting the popular Indic languages like Urdu, Tamil, Hindi, and Bengali.
      Thats because using 'Indic' languages is irrelevant to a major subcontinent wide corporation like LIC. All corporate work will be done in english.
      • Which ass are you speaking out of? Unlike "North American Continent" where everyone uses english (and ok -- some amount of Spanish) the Indian Subcontinent has about 17 different "official" languages, + many hundreds local languages and dialects, and at LEAST 5 different scripts (I think the number is more like 10).

        So if you want to do business with that large a demographic, you bet your ass it has to support all those languages.

        (as an Example -- which $MegaCorp in Southern states (California ... Texas) doe
  • by zappepcs (820751) on Saturday April 08, 2006 @07:04PM (#15092769) Journal
    I think its about time that, even though this piece was slightly biased, mainstream media began looking seriously at the behemouth that *nix has become. Its always been in data centers, and Linux is fitting in well there. The only reason that mainstream view of desktop software is so biased is simply because these people grew up knowing only Windows or Mac, and so that is, to them, how computers are supposed to be, and perform. When someone else comes along with something new, it is always compared to the existing system to see if it measures up.

    Now, I'm not saying that Linux is a perfect replacement for XP or OS X, but I remember the arguments about using F3 vs. F1 for the help key, and if you have ever seen Windows 3.0 or earlier, you'd know that there were plenty of people, myself included, that said meh, I'll keep using DR DOS thank you very much. The fact that Linux is the new kid on the block is all the more reason for MS and others to fear it. It *IS* changing everything.

    It is about to the point that if a card or MB won't be supported by Linux, I can leave it setting on the shelf, and so can a lot of other people. The fact that there are examples of this, and WHOLE countries (apparently) leaving Windows for Linux means that the revolution is happening, slowly, but it is happening.

    This story is not so exciting for those of us who have been waiting for it, expecting it, and are now ready to hear the daily updates in application development that surpases MS's capability to keep up. F/OSS is a better way to do thing, and I think (hope) that CLAMAV and others will show the Bill schills and others exactly what can be done to stop spam, virii, and malware. You know, something along the lines of "here, download the software.. its free.. and only 14.99/year for updates. Then someone fix the F/OSS mail clients to utilize global white and black lists etc. and some of the other ideas for stopping spam for only moderate yearly costs... say... hmmm 14.99/year maybe?

    Look at what Vonage and Skype are doing to the telecomms business arena. That is pretty much the same sort of apple cart upsetting that's happening with *nix right now. I'd love to see a *nix distro that is first to be ready (out of the box) to be used to download television, movies, etc. ... you know, like a "Ubuntu media edition for Dell computers" ... or something like that.

    I'd just really like to see totally heated up competition in all media markets. iPod! your days are numbered. CD player? your days are numbered. Solid state memory is able to hold as much, in smaller spaces, and is more flexible. I'm just waiting for someone to create the hardware that will supercede CD's and DVD's altogether... leapfrog this whole BR-HD-DVD argument.

    Anyway, the point is that this news, isn't really news to some of us, and it should not be shocking to anyone. Bring on more news like this is what I say... we can all use good news anyday.
    • "Now, I'm not saying that Linux is a perfect replacement for XP or OS X..."

      You almost make that sound like a negative.

    • I'm just waiting for someone to create the hardware that will supercede CD's and DVD's altogether... leapfrog this whole BR-HD-DVD argument.

      You might be interested in this:

      Holographic Versatile Disc [wikipedia.org]
    • > When someone else comes along with something new,

      New? Linux is about 15 years old.

      > it is always compared to the existing system to
      > see if it measures up.

      So... if Linux has been unable to measure up sufficiently to take significant desktop share over the past fifteen years, what exactly makes you think it's going to suddenly become important?

      > Solid state memory is able to hold as much, in
      > smaller spaces, and is more flexible.

      And a *damn* sight more expensive. I used solid state disk driv
      • New? Linux is about 15 years old.

        True.. but I don't think anyone will argue that there was even remotely a notion of "desktop linux" 15 years ago. This is relatively recent (last 4-5 years?)

        So... if Linux has been unable to measure up sufficiently to take significant desktop share over the past fifteen years, what exactly makes you think it's going to suddenly become important?

        It takes time. There is a saying "It takes 20 years to make an overnight success." So umm.. Linux still has 5 years to go.. hehe.. :
        • > This is relatively recent (last 4-5 years?)

          I recall discussing it with company management at CSC in 1994. So not only was it on the table, it was being taken seriously.

          Trouble is, it was a bad idea then, and it's still a bad idea. There's a massive difference between hiring an administrative staff that knows Windows and one that knows Linux. If you're hiring a dozen people, it makes about a quarter million dollar difference annually, and you're also hiring from a much smaller pool of available applican
          • I recall discussing it with company management at CSC in 1994. So not only was it on the table, it was being taken seriously.

            i recall talking about this at 2000. the person (supposedly working in it...) had never heard of it and for the first weeks wrote it LENUX. he is relaying on linux servers every day now (no workstation - yet).
            i recall telling about linux/oss a friend of mine, who had not heard about it a year ago. he is evaluating it as his primary os for the new workstation he is going to buy.
            it is n
      • So... if Linux has been unable to measure up sufficiently to take significant desktop share over the past fifteen years, what exactly makes you think it's going to suddenly become important?

        I think new markets is what is really different.
        Until now, linux uptake has been slowed down because most people in the west are using Windows for their Desktops, are used to it and so won't consider switching to something else.
        Now you have new markets opening in Asia, filled with people who aren't specially dependant/ac

        • > It's only recently that you have a lot of people
          > who could *really* freely choose what OS to use.

          I don't see your scenario as representing freedom. If they are interested in cheap solutions, there is an economic factor which restricts their choice. One might even go so far as to say these people are being forced to choose Linux, whether they want it or not.
          • I don't see your scenario as representing freedom. If they are interested in cheap solutions, there is an economic factor which restricts their choice.

            Then, according to your definition, freedom never exists. There's always some reason (be it evil marketing strategy, economic pressures, patriotism & xenophobia against foreign producers, ecological specs of the considered device, childproof safety of a toy, or even presonnal taste in design and color) that restricts the choice to the specific item you fi

            • > Then, according to your definition, freedom never exists.

              COMPLETE freedom never exists, no. There is always some degree of freedom available, but when only one choice meets your needs, there's no practical freedom at all.

              > The freedom about which I'm speaking is that the choice
              > isn't restricted by the strategy of a *sinlge company*
              > who got a strong desktop share by doing lock-in marketing.

              It's not the strategy of a single company. It's the strategy of a great many companies, most of which do
    • Rare though I login to Slashdot these days, I made an exception just to say: "Damn, you're smart! What the heck are you doing on Slashdot?"

      Now begins the standard disclaimer meant for the general public: "Buy a fish, name it life, so you'll have one!" and I might add to the standard disclaimer, "For GODS SAKE, find SOMETHING else to do with your time!"

  • blah blah and yeah (Score:2, Informative)

    by atari2600 (545988)
    The state-owned LIC (Life Insurance Corporation) is a big customer and a major player in India and has a major share of the market (with a few smaller players). In the last few years though, private companies have been eating into the share of LICs market.
    From here [mindbranch.com]

    "Though the total volume of LIC's business increased in the last fiscal year (2004-2005) compared to the previous one, its market share came down from 87.04 to 78.07%. The 14 private insurers increased their market share from about 13% to abo
    • by giorgosts (920092)
      Here in Greece we have the tax authorities database (www.taxisnet.gr) running Oracle on RHEL, and that makes us another 8 mill. customers. So I guess proffesionals know about their business and install what's best for them. What about the consumer though. Can he make the switch?
      • by robertjw (728654) on Saturday April 08, 2006 @07:33PM (#15092863) Homepage
        Where professionals go consumers will eventually follow. That's why everyone runs Microsoft platforms in their homes, even though when I was growing up Apple donated millions of machines to schools. The business industry wouldn't accept Apple in the workplaces, everyone wanted the same thing at home that they were used to at work, so Windows became dominant. If professionals move to Linux, eventually consumers will as well.
  • Pseudo-tech (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Tyr_7BE (461429)
    Based on the price, vendors classify servers as small (anywhere from Rs 40000 up to Rs 500,000), medium (from Rs 500,000 to Rs 1 crore) and large (over Rs 1 crore). They are identified as Intel (or X86 processor-based), Unix (or non-X86 processor-based) and Blade servers. Linux and Solaris are flavours of Unix. Windows and Intel form the loosely-termed "Wintel" brand.

    Since when did running Unix decide your processor type for you? Last I checked, BSD ran on X86 without much issue. Last I checked, Linux was
    • Re:Pseudo-tech (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Theatetus (521747) on Saturday April 08, 2006 @07:20PM (#15092814) Journal
      Since when did running Unix decide your processor type for you? Last I checked, BSD ran on X86 without much issue. Last I checked, Linux wasn't a flavour of Unix.

      The point is, vendors classify servers based on their chip type. The assumption seems to be that a CISC system will run some flavor of WINNT while a RISC system will run some flavor of UNIX (largely because there isn't any other choice for most of them). I could see calling a RISC system UNIX based on the fact that a large percentage of Intel systems are not running UNIX, while virtually every RISC system is.

      And, yes, Linux is not a flavour of UNIX, just like the toy I had my dog fetch this afternoon was really a "flying disc" rather than a "frisbee (tm)", since it wasn't made by Whammo (tm).

  • I say this is all seriousness, is it really better to have lots of indian companies make flops like the simputer or to have a few american companies make things like Tivo. I dont mean that they are mutually exclusive, but is quantity better than quality? when did that happen?
    • In all seriousness, what does this have to do with the article?
    • Re:Simputer vs tivo (Score:3, Interesting)

      by alphakappa (687189)
      It's a pointless argument. Many of the american 'hits' are actually designed and created in India. For example, Portalplayer which powers the iPod, or the Slingbox... many of these small american companies are simply headquartered in the silicon valley for business purposes, while their entire design and development teams are in Bangalore/Hyderabad. As long as the major customers are in the US, that's how things will be. It's pointless to try to distinguish them as Indian or American companies. They are bot
      • did you just claim that the ipod was designed and created in india? care to back that up? Apple makes a big deal with its designed in california stickers on every product. Lets see you prove the ipod was actually thought up in india.
        • Read carefully my friend, I mentioned Portalplayer, not the iPod [salon.com] itself. The Portalplayer [mercurynews.com] chip was largely created [wsj.com] in Hyderabad.
          • "The company has 280 employees, more than half of them in India, and it has opened an office in Taiwan"

            Thats all the article says. You do know, there is a big difference between making something somewhere and designing it. To be fair i couldn't read the WSJ article because the yahoo login didnt work.
  • Number of customers? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Citing the number of customers makes no sense. An insurance company doesn't equip each of its customers with a computer (and OS). What's much more relevant to Red Hat is the number of employees of the company that will be using their product. This number is probably in the tens of thousands, not hundreds of millions, assuming every employee gets a Linux desktop. (If it's just server machines, then the number of instances of the OS might be in the hundreds.)

    No doubt the poster was motivated to wave a lar
    • While the number of customers LIC has is not directly relevant to the number of Linux computers LIC will use, it serves to make one valid point: there will be some large, complex applications that need to be handled and Linux is up to the task. Having dealt with some applications for a company with around 12 million customers, I can well imagine that LIC has some truly demanding computing problems.
  • Critical mass (Score:4, Interesting)

    by teslatug (543527) on Saturday April 08, 2006 @07:51PM (#15092926)
    Linux has gotten to the point where Microsoft's FUD can no longer hurt it. There are enough companies that have adopted Linux now that nothing that Microsoft says can cause clueful companies to ignore a Linux solution. Sure Microsoft will make or keep some sales due to FUD, but that no longer hurts Linux but perhaps the companies themselves.

    The next battle may be with patents, but with IBM so involved with Linux, I seriously doubt Microsoft would go head to head with Linux for fear of stepping on IBM's toes. I actually wish there would be a big patent battle. If there was it would probably fizzle out with the result being some cross-patenting agreement, but there is a miniscule chance that companies and the government would realize the mess of patents if we had an apocalyptic patents battle.
  • A long way to go (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DesiVideoGamer (863325) on Saturday April 08, 2006 @08:11PM (#15092975)
    I did some research/interviews in India and I can assure you that Linux has a long way to go until it can get wide adoption for Desktop Computers (lets ignore servers for now).

    - Almost everybody in India has a pirated version of Windows XP (which came with their computer, so its pretty much "free" for them)
    - Very few people I interviewed actually do Windows Update (probably because of the whole XP-Key validation)
    - Unless he/she is a software engineer, they would have never heard of Linux
    - When asked about spyware, they didn't seem to care. Most Indians didn't seem to care about the performance factor. They also didn't seem to care about identity theft as much either (the culture is such that most people pay just about everything in cash since most vendors charge a "service charge" for using credit cards or even a check)
    - Bill Gates is more of a hero in India than a devil (his charitable contributions are well known)
    - Tying in Gujarati in Linux (KDE) takes time and pratice to learn (I assume the same with other Indian languages)
    - Some "cablenet" ISPs in India require you to run Windows software in order to connect to the Internet. There is no support for Linux at this time.

    Those are just a few problems that I can think of on top of my head. There are plenty more issues in Linux Desktop adoption in India.
    • Indian Companies Embracing Linux Faster Than Ever


      With all the time you spent banging out that post - perhaps it would have been better spent actually reading the article.. then you might have realized that this has nothing to do with home use...

      • Sorry for not being clear. These interviews were in a corporate environment. Desktop usage is very important in corporate company since it suddenly becomes a requirement for employees to learn such an OS. However, the companies that I interviewed were not nearly as big as the ones mentioned in the article (they were all less then 100 employees) and so there may be some differences between what I said and large companies like Rediff.
    • u did get everything right.
    • You seem to be a regular sort of a guy, but I'm sorry, I have to take issue with all of your points:

      Almost everybody in India has a pirated version of Windows XP (which came with their computer, so its pretty much "free" for them)

      And this is different from other places how? Even in (decadent, IPR-friendly-and-all-that-shit) West, your Windows copy is part of your computer costs, so essentially it's "free" in the sense that you don't have a seperate bill.

      Very few people I interviewed actually do Window

    • - Bill Gates is more of a hero in India than a devil (his charitable contributions are well known)

      This isn't an issue of charity. A rich man has more honour in a country with a lot of poor people.
  • Stateless Linux (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Chemicalscum (525689) on Saturday April 08, 2006 @08:21PM (#15093002) Journal
    Since this is a major integrated desktop and server deployment. It is an interesting question to ask is RH using its stateless Linux technology. It seems to me that the adoption of the approach is one factor that can drive a Windows to Linux desktop migration as is happening with LIC. The Fedora Project defines stateless Linux as:

    The Stateless Linux project is an OS-wide initiative to ensure that Fedora computers can be set up as replaceable appliances, with no important local state.

    For example, a system administrator can set up a network of hundreds of desktop client machines as clones of a master system, and be sure that all of them are kept synchronised whenever he or she updates the master system. We provide several technologies for doing this.

    This is an obvious improvement over the situation now when a legion of MCSE services the networked MS Windows fat (in fact boated or obese) clients. By adopting this technology a large corporation can avoid the even greater bloat that will be enforced by the Vista upgrade.

    It seems to me that there are three major approaches to the forthcoming corporate migrations to the Linux desktop by those corporations forward looking enough to want to avoid the cost and dislocations of the upcoming upgrades to Vista and who at the same time want to make cost savings and improve IT efficiency.

    1. There is the Novell approach which is to replace the Windows fat client by a better more cost effective Linux fat client, i.e. SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop.

    2. There is the IBM approach which uses a Java Rich Client Platform (the Eclipse RCP) that is OS agnostic and which allows a smooth transition from Windows to Linux. This involves the Websphere based Workplace technology, the OOo based IBM productivity editors and new Hannover Notes client which runs natively on Linux.

    3. Finally there is the RH stateless Linux approach outlined above.

    • stateless linux isn't tied to migration in any way - it is more of a way to manage large amount of computers.

      i wanted to paste some info from the pdf on their website, but it seems to use some shitty protection against copying. screw them, that's not an opensouce project.
  • by suv4x4 (956391) on Saturday April 08, 2006 @08:25PM (#15093008)
    So if I come home from work hungry like hell and embrace the whole fridge, does it make me embracing vegetarian diet faster than ever since I also ate tomatoes (beside the pork and chicken)?

    As you can see, I'm kinda hungry.. but that's not the point.
  • by betasam (713798) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <masateb>> on Saturday April 08, 2006 @09:03PM (#15093124) Homepage Journal
    LIC India was one of the largest users of Unix (SUN Solaris) systems prior to this announcement. They had trained Unix sysadmins and tape backup systems in 1998. Long before such an official announcement was made many of the client machines connecting to the servers were being switched to Linux even at regional offices. This time Redhat is migrating the servers too to Linux. So that in a sense is the corporate world beginning to embrace Linux.

    Adding to this, Reliance Infocomm Ltd., one of the largest CDMA service providers does provide a rather clumsy, yet workable tool for dialing-up internet using their phones. They try to address a small but existent Linux Desktop market. There are OEM PCs that ship with TurboLinux desktops in India from many manufacturers.

    However, the largets ATM chains, SBI - State Bank of India (now on a week long strike) and several other institutions continue to use flavors of legacy old systems including Microsoft Win32 platforms. Home users are most uncomfortable switching to Linux despite the arrival of Ubuntu/Kubuntu and other easily configurable alternatives. There is still much to be done. The transition is slow but definitely happening in the market, and that's the good news.

    As for outsourcing blah, that's irrelevant to the article. Service firms adopt platforms that can put them in business with their clientele. That's business sense and they keep doing it.
  • And of course rediff (the news service posting this article) uses Linux. Their free webmail system, Rediffmail.com, alone uses well over sixty Linux servers and has hundreds of terabytes spinning.
  • by x86processor (938718) on Sunday April 09, 2006 @02:06AM (#15093879)
    Companies in India use FLOSS a lot. From my contacts, and experience with FLOSS in India in the past 1 1/2 years, this is the list that I have prepared:

      http://shakthimaan.com/misc/database.html [shakthimaan.com]

    David Axmark, the co-founder of the mysql project was here in India, recently, and recently gave a talk at IIT-M (http://www.chennailug.org/ [chennailug.org]). He said that Indian companies are major consumers of free/open source software, but, don't produce/contribute back to the community.

    Recently, there was the Debain Defconf meeting in Hyderabad, and about 1000 "developers" from India had participated, only 2 of them were Debian contributors.

    Companies seldom market about FLOSS in India, where the "majority" of the masses read their news from newspapers, get updated from radio broadcasts and television broadcasts.
  • LIC (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    offtopic -1

    LIC offers insurance services in India, as government owned company. It has monopoly since ages, since private companies were not allowed to provide services in India.

    One of the most important fact is LIC services are ineficient, very expensive and theft oriented. People in India are afraid of claiming anything, because no claims are settled by LIC.

    LIC has loads of money to share.

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