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Election Commission of India Moves to

Kolkata Newsline reports EC opens window to free software.

“EC” refers to the Election Commission of India, “the largest government organisation to have opted for free software and stepped into the open-source environment.”

While the article does not specify how many computers are involved in this migration, it does not seem like an enormous number:

“Chief Electoral Officer Debashis Sen said: “We decided to replace the Office suite of Microsoft with OpenOffice at a meeting on August 7 and 8, and cost was one of the reasons (for the change).”

According to officials, the cost of MS Office suite is approximately Rs 15,000 per licensed copy and Microsoft generally gives a 10 per cent discount to institutional sales.

For Microsoft, the switch would mean loss of substantial revenue. In West Bengal alone, the EC has 100 computers in 65 sub divisions.”

Unless they mean, 100 computers in each of these 65 subdivisions, which would be a substantial number… and how many states are there in India that might each have this many divisions? There is room for multiple interpretations of this article’s numbers.

Whatever the numbers in this specific case, it is clear that is really gaining momentum in India. Many goverment agencies have migrated, as have a number of large corporations, and Linux desktops are selling well by all accounts. I don’t know what the big picture is, but all these clues are hinting at something really important happening!

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