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India’s OpenOffice & Open Source Rollout Continues

ZDNet UK reports, in Indian OpenOffice Rollout Picks up Pace, that the government has distributed nearly half a million CDs of open source software throughout the country.

“Open source groups are helping the Indian government meet its target of creating open source CDs in all official Indian languages by February 2006.

The open source applications included on the CDs, such as the Firefox browser and the OpenOffice.org productivity suite, have already been translated into five Indian languages Tamil, Hindi, Telugu, Punjabi and Urdu…”

“If one person gets the CD, the whole community or [company] department gets the CD,” said Raman. “There are so many channels that people can get it from the Internet, their friends, from magazines that we don’t know how many people have access to it.”

You’re thinking that the next step is to distribute open source via OEM deals, right? That’s what made the current market leader dominant, and that’s why it continues to run the show–people will use whatever comes preinstalled, regardless of quality! But soon, in India, they’ll be delighted to find something good preinstalled for once.

ZDNet UK reports again: Open Source PCs Take a Passage to India.

I’m going to quote the majority of this brief article:
“RKVS Raman, a researcher at the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing, an organisation involved in the production of the free CDs, said on Tuesday a number of vendors, including HCL Technologies, Acer, Zenith and Sahara, will start selling computers pre-installed with localised open source software from December.

The computers will be pre-loaded with either Microsoft Windows or Linux and a number of open source products, including the OpenOffice.org productivity suite, the Firefox browser and the Columba email client, according to Raman.

“Linux is preferred by some vendors because it brings down the cost drastically,” said Raman, although he pointed out that the vendors that “insist” on installing Windows will still save costs by avoiding Microsoft Office.

The PCs will be available in three Indian languages at present Hindi, Tamil and Telugu although more languages will be added later. The Indian government hopes that the availability of PCs containing software in native languages will increase the adoption of PCs across India, Raman said.”

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