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sábado, maio 28, 2005

Open source apps given to millions in India - silicon.com

The Indian government is trying to encourage the use of computers across the country by distributing free CDs that contain localised versions of popular open source applications.

The government has started distributing CDs containing Tamil-language versions of various open source applications, including the Firefox browser, the OpenOffice.org productivity suite and the Columba email client. It plans to freely distribute 3.5 million copies of the CD to Tamil speakers worldwide
The next stage of the project is to distribute CDs containing applications in Hindi, the national language of India. This stage will be launched on 21 June and is likely to involve more than the 3.5 million CDs earmarked for the current phase, said Raman. Eventually, the government plans to release CDs in all of the 22 official languages of India.

Raman believes open source software brings two main advantages to the Indian population - cost, and the freedom to modify the software. "We are sometimes not comfortable with Western user interfaces - they don't make sense in our culture, particularly for rural people who haven't had much access to technology. If we want to modify the software we have to have access to the code," he said.



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