India State to Dump Windows for Linux

Aug 31, 2006
Linux pinguin

(AP) -- A southern Indian state plans to switch all school computers from Microsoft Windows to the free Linux operating system, an official said Thursday.

The changeover on computers used in some 12,500 high schools in the state of Kerala is set for Friday, and teachers are being trained on the new software, said the state's education minister, M.A. Baby.

The state is ruled by communist politicians and its top elected official, Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan, has long been a supporter of free software, railing against the dominance of Microsoft's Windows when he was a state legislator.

However, Baby insisted that the state government has no grudge against Microsoft specifically.

But Achuthanandan was keen to develop the state as a "free and open software systems destination," Baby told The Associated Press.

"It is our stated policy that only free software should be used for IT education in Kerala's schools. The government is introducing Linux based software as tools to teach various subjects," Baby told the Associated Press on Thursday.

The decision to switch to Linux came after free software guru Richard Stallman, founder of the open-source GNU software project, visited Kerala two weeks ago, and persuaded officials to discard proprietary software, such as Microsoft, at state-run schools, Baby said.

Despite the denials that Microsoft was the target, opposition leader M.A. Shahnawaz, of the Congress party, said he believed the decision was based on the communists' opposition to the software giant's products.

He cited the communists' opposition to a Microsoft-supported computer training program that the Congress party enacted in 2002 when it ruled the state.

"I think schools should be given the option to choose whether teachers are to be trained in Linux systems or Microsoft," Shahnawaz said.

© 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Explore further: Google releases work tools designed for Android phones

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Review: Why subscribe to Office when so much is free?

Feb 11, 2015

Just as I was warming up to choosing a Microsoft Office 365 subscription over making a one-time software purchase, Microsoft started giving away a lot of subscription benefits for free. The company now offers ...

One year on, Nadella shifting focus at Microsoft

Feb 08, 2015

With one year under his belt, Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella has made strides in changing the focus of the technology giant that some feared was turning into a dinosaur.

Recommended for you

'Slow motion at the speed of light'

18 minutes ago

New technology developed by a collaboration between the UA and the University of California, Los Angeles, provides real-time monitoring of streaming video to optimize network traffic.

Virtual vehicle testing – modeling tires realistically

18 minutes ago

Manufacturers conduct virtual tests on vehicle designs long before the first car rolls off the assembly line. Simulation of the tires has remained a challenge, however. The software tool "CDTire/3D" from ...

Dutch chipmaker NXP to buy Freescale Semiconductor for $12B

5 hours ago

Dutch chipmaker NXP Semiconductors N.V. said Sunday it had agreed to buy its smaller rival Freescale Semiconductor Ltd. for $11.8 billion in a deal that will make it the biggest supplier of microchips to the automotive industry.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.