Wednesday, 02 April 2014 09:20

India moving to GNU/Linux as XP support runs out

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The Indian state of Tamil Nadu has issued a directive to local government departments asking them to switch over to open source software, in the wake of Microsoft's decision to end support for Windows XP this month.

The Indian newspaper The Hindu reported last month that the Information Technology department had issued an order which said, in part: "Consider installing BOSS [Bharat Operating System Solutions] Linux as one of the mandatory operating system."

India decided three years ago to launch a new ICT policy based on the mandatory use of open source operating systems. In November 2011, Tamil Nadu introduced BOSS GNU/Linux, a derivative of Debian GNU/Linux, to be installed and used on government computer systems.

BOSS GNU/Linux has support for all major Indian languages, bio-sensing devices and digital signatures.

As The Hindu pointed out, apart from the cost savings, it was the reduced risk of being infected by viruses or affected by hacking or phishing attacks that led India to introduce the new operating system.

"The huge investment cost involved in purchasing closed source software [such as Windows XP] may be avoided, which in turn translates into huge savings for the government," the Tamil Nadu government order said.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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