A meet to promote free software

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| FOR the first time in the city, a group of Free Software users are coming
| together to organise an exhibition to promote the importance of Free
| Software.
| [...]
| The fest will be held at Kanakakkunnu on April 12. GNU/Linux Users Group
| Trivandrum, Free Software Foundation of India, Space Kerala and Zyxware
| Technologies are the organisers of the fest.


Penguins Linux Ad



Initiative helps farmers in rural India using OSS

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| All the Web servers that enable Jagriti services are powered by Linux. The
| reasons behind the choice are obvious. Jagriti is a small organization
| venturing into an area where it has no precedents to follow. It has to keep
| costs low without compromising on performance or security. And there is
| another important consideration. J. S. Sandha, CEO and founder of the
| project, says, "We Indians recycle anything and everything." Jagriti wanted a
| platform that would make the most of available hardware and not favour any
| particular vendor, since the bulk of computers in India are unbranded. Linux
| fit the bill perfectly. * * * *
| [...]
| Sandha says Linux has proved to be a viable choice for the project. "We are
| not only satisfied, but have proved that Linux is most suitable for reaching
| out to the masses -- whether you consider the TCO angle, reuse, or
| localization." Realizing the need for quality software to fulfill the needs
| of the Indian rural sector, Jagriti has developed applications like e-Khad
| (to help farmers find the lowest-cost combination of fertilizers they need)
| and e-Khet (to help analyze the soil of a farm) atop open source
| technologies. "We are in the process of developing many more online
| applications," Sandha says. * * * *


Microsoft influencing partner NGOs to support OOXML in India

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| Microsoft is encouraging its business partners to promote its Office Open XML
| specification (OOXML) to the Indian Bureau of Standards (BIS) and Ministry of
| IT. This move has incensed supporters of the rival OpenDocument Format (ODF)
| who fear that the "soft" Indian state may not be able to stand up to
| Microsoft pressure tactics. * *


Microsoft India using NGOs to fake support for OOXML


Becoming a better company: Microsoft helps NGOs in India

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| Of course, there has to be some trade-offs, because there should never be
| free lunch, even for the ones who starve: Microsoft, according to this
| article, has conditioned its help to Indian NGOs to their support of OOXML.
| What the NGOs had to do was to send letters of support on OOXML to the
| federal government of India. * *


Microsoft "persuades" NGOs to support OOXML

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| Our friends at Linux Delhi have put up a copy of the form letters that
| Microsoft has been sending NGOs on the OOXML issue. Apparently, these NGOs
| have been sending copies of these letters to the Ministry of IT and Bureau of
| Indian standards. * *


Developers around the world, unite!

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| Monopoly and proprietary software have an advantage in influencing state and
| governmental institutions because of their large market base and ready
| capital. Unscrupulous ways of influencing state governments have persisted in
| India, for example, where executives of proprietary software cajole
| government heads to promote their brands in lieu of some form of charity
| given. FLOSS activists must overcome this huge challenge in order to get
| their philosophy accepted and model implemented for the good of people who
| are still on the barren side of the digital divide. * * *


Using NGOs to Push Agendas

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| The extent to which Microsoft can go in its efforts to get OOXML is
| interesting. Microsoft has "persuaded" several non-profit organizations to
| bombard the Indian IT Secretary and the Additional Director General of the
| Bureau of Indian Standards with letters supporting its OOXML proposal. A copy
| of the form letter they have been circulating to NGOs is given below.
| Somebody should interview these NGOs to see how much they really know about
| OOXML and open standards. * * *
| The sequence of events leading up to the spamming of GoI? is:
| Letter from an NGO thanking Microsoft (name changed to protect their
| identity)