[fosscomm] MS Marketing Medusa is here, yet again!
jtd at mtnl.net.in
jtd at mtnl.net.in
Wed Oct 19 00:59:22 PDT 2011
On Wednesday 19 Oct 2011 05:16:45 Mishi Choudhary wrote:
Which Microsoft OS?
> MS Marketing Medusa is here, yet again!
> In September 2011, sflc.in came across a news item reporting a decision
> by the Government of Punjab to switch to Microsoft Windows instead of
> BOSS Linux . I had barely rejoiced properly the news which had appeared
> earlier in the year on February, 2011, about the use of BOSS in the ICT
> program for students et Voila! Here was a 180 degrees turn in the
> policy within a span of seven months.The newspaper item insinuated the
> transfer of IAS officers in charge of the Department of Education as the
> triggering point in the turn of events in this staged dramedy.
> Through a series of applications filed under the Right to information
> Act, sflc.in obtained the minutes of the meeting in which the decision
> to switch over was effected. Here, I provide a brief of the information
> received, please pardon the intended puns and suggest a future course of
> action. sflc.in is looking into the legal aspects of challenging
> procurement policies and would love to have a pro-bono lawyer in the
> State of Punjab.
> The minutes bring to light an "honest" request by Microsoft's
> directorial brigade with heads of education, marketing and public sector
> for a meeting with the Principal Secretary of Education, Punjab, post
> the announcement of their decision to use Edu BOSS in the Edusat
> Computer labs and Computer labs for providing computer education and
> training . And here our naivete had made us believe that all options
> must have already been considered and weighed before the decision to use
> BOSS was made in February by the then Chief Secretary to the Government
> of Punjab regarding the purchase of Operating Systems.
> A director from CDAC was also present in the meeting who did not wish
> to make any presentation as they had already submitted the necessary
> documents and nothing additional was required. Hopefully, the
> contributions were laconic. The director's objections are recorded in
> the minutes wherein he had objected to the assertion that /"the states
> of U.P., Tamil Nadu, Assam had shifted back to Microsoft after using
> "Open Source". /"Facts" in support of these bald statements were
> provided within two months in another meeting. Further, since only
> recent tenders and contracts were to be awarded to Microsoft, it did not
> seem to merit any further objections.
> To quote this piece of poetry
> /" There was deliberation on the trend of reverting back to MS
> platform, to which CDAC representatives have told that their system is
> very new as compared to Microsoft to which Microsoft mentioned that the
> trend was on OSS/Linux which has been prevalent for the last 10 years
> and still there are switchovers (sic) happening now. MS representatives
> informed that prices offered for the purpose of school education are
> highly discounted as compared to prices available commercially" ./
> Did I hear anyone gasp and say tobacco companies "get them young and
> hooked "?
> In fact, the data provided and recorded with respect to the switchovers
> (sic) in various states talks about tender documents wherein specific
> tenders demanding Microsoft's various products are made but no evidence
> of the so called switchover (sic) was to be seen anywhere. CDAC made a
> submission highlighting Government of Rajasthan's use of Debian along
> with Microsoft (sic). Although, a brief statement about each state
> concludes with a qualifier that
> / "However, [INSERT STATE NAME] never opted for EBOSS"/
> the Committee headed by the Principal Secretary, School Education,
> Punjab reaches the following conclusion
> " The above documents pertains to demand of Microsoft Windows in the
> recent tenders and support the contention that following states have
> shifted back to Microsoft from open source which was earlier dealing
> with open source and now they have demanded Microsoft"
> The meeting also recorded Tamil Nadu ELCOT's decision about which we
> recently saw a report at
> Disclaimer: Neither the logical or analytical reasoning nor the grammar
> or punctuation is mine.
Did the officials communicate officially with the TN departments, as is
required by protocol. If they did copy of replies maybe obtained.
> Amongst the other factors considered were the following claims:
> "Microsoft products are built on principles of interoperability and open
> standards and hence offer greater compatibility and tighter integration
> amongst offerings" /
What are the Microsoft products to be installed on these machines.
Post installion, what are the softwares to be installed and the budgets for
> CDAC's objections over this were "considered".
Details of CDAC's objections and point by point considerations in sidelining
> "Students who will even go abroad where they will have to work on
> Microsoft operating system"(sic)"/
Let them know that a number of top universities use linux and host massive
linux repos. Many of the best tech universities are pioneering contributors
to GNU/linux based packages.
"Linux has distinct advantages over closed source software as a teaching tool.
For example, according to John Howland of Trinity University, Open Source
software such as Linux can be used to great advantage in computer science
courses because it lets students read and understand the source code for
great software. A few good examples:
* Marist College "involves faculty, students and staff in emerging
technology initiatives such as the Linux operating system...", and has
established a Linux Research and Development Center.
* Dr. Jeanna Matthews' Advanced Operating Systems class at Clarkson. (Four
out of six of her students won prizes in IBM's annual competition in 2001!)
* Mark Claypool's "An Open Source Laboratory for Operating Systems
Projects" at WPI
* CS3210: Operating System Design - Jumpstart at Georgia Tech
* Western Carolina University's annual Computer Science Contest for high
school students uses a Linux server to provide a uniform programming
environment for an unlimited number of remote students competing from home --
without worrying about client access licenses.
According to Jeff Williams of Concordia University Wisconsin, even an "Intro
to Computer Applications" course can benefit from Linux, because exposing
students to alternate office software packages helps teach concepts rather
than just applications, and thus prepare students to learn and use any office
software rather than just one particular package.
Last but not least, being familiar with Open Source software development
techniques and communities is becoming a vital skill for software engineers
who are using Linux and other Open Source software. I have written a separate
essay, The Undergrad CS Program, Linux, and Open Source, about the
adjustments that need to be made in university computer science curricula to
adapt to a world in which Linux and Open Source are important parts of the
software engineering profession. "
> "Letting students work in a Windows environment will save the students
> from transition problem"/
Refer the previous para.
> /"As a result it was decided that EBOSS may be installed in the Edusat
> labs of 2 districts as a pilot project and Microsoft operating system in
> the remaining 18 districts./"
> A Copy of these minutes with answers to the questions raised is provided
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