[PLUG] Government Sponsored Vendor lock

Amarendra Godbole amarendra.godbole at gmail.com
Wed Jul 28 19:47:20 PDT 2010


On Wed, Jul 28, 2010 at 10:01 PM, Rajagopal Swaminathan
<raju.rajsand at gmail.com> wrote:
> Greetings,
>
>
> On 7/26/10, Mithun Shitole <mithunit at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Hi,
>>      Engineering, Diploma etc. admissions processes are online. The
>> website for it is dte.org.in . Unfortunately Technical board doesn't
>> seems to care about users who don't use IE. When you go to
>> http://www.dte.org.in/FE2010/StaticPages/Default.aspx , this is what it
>> says: "Sorry, this Application is Supported only on IE6, IE7 & IE8" .
>> Same applies when Diploma admission link is visited. I think this is
>> clear case of vendor locking. Is there any way to protest?
>>
>
> Please contact Shantanu Oak who gave  a session on shell scripting for
> mysql sometime in May at some seminar or thw uch in Pune.
>
> I know for certain that the printed tickets from an ST bus and its
> backend and the MSRTC online reservation is based on Centos.
[...]

Confirmed positive - I have seen the MSRTC booking machine booting
CentOS - well, the operators login as root is a different story, but
it does run CentOS.

Meanwhile, Microsoft has a battery (actually batallion) of
"evangelists" who visit schools and various govt institutes giving
glossy demos - I know because I have a friend who is an Office
evangelist. And yes, they recruit the best MBA minds to do that. Hence
it is far too easier to make inroads into Govt., when you promise them
an "up-and-running" system. Sadly, very few to none (except folks
here) evangelize Linux, and nobody promises an up-and-running system,
the way Microsoft does. One-off incidents like Kerala do not describe
the mass mentality who find it easy to adopt Windows than Linux.
Technology aside, this is more problem of "marketing", and Linux has
so many internal differences (who want GNU/Linux?), that it is
difficult that this problem will be addressed any soon.

If you look at it as a problem-solving exercise, it is more meaningful
-- but if you are out for "world-dominance", unfortunately, you have
lost the battle already. It is also surprising to see many Linux folks
who consider Microsoft as their #1 enemy. Hey, what about Oracle, IBM,
Apple? These all make prop platforms, and sell closed solutions. Do
you stop adopting iPhone, or iPod just because it is closed? Heck, I
am sure half of those who read this mail have atleast one Apple
device.

The right thing, IMHO, is continue showing people how Linux addresses
their problem, and solves it effectively - vendor lock-ins, money,
prop, philosophy are not the words that can change the mind of a
business owner. All he/she cares about "up and running" system, and
excellent support - which Microsoft (and most prop software vendors)
provide. I believe in using the right tool for the job - until people
feel that Linux is that right tool, no amount of philosophy is going
to change it.

-Amarendra



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