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Linux makes inroads into Microsoft's domain
Leslie D'Monte in Mumbai | August 02, 2007 03:14 IST
The Penguin (named Tux) is finally making inroads as an operating system on desktops too.
This is the second largest implementation of Linux on the desktop -- the biggest one being that of around 60,000 desktops in LIC [Get Quote] of India by Red Hat, which is estimated to have implemented over 200,000 desktop OS installations. Canara Bank [Get Quote] too has around 10,000 Linux OS desktops.
ELCOT migrated its entire IT infrastructure from Windows to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and SUSE Linux Enterprise desktop. ELCOT is the implementing agency for the prestigious Tamil Nadu State Wide Area Network Project and is in the process of commissioning the state's data centre and disaster recovery centre too.
"We had to be sure that the Linux solution would meet all requirements. We decided to test it on our own internal systems and make an informed decision about whether it would be the right choice for schools and other government offices," said Umashankar, adding: "With SUSE Linux Enterprise, we no longer have any worries about viruses. This aspect of security used to be a real concern because we know of other e-government systems, which have collapsed because of malicious attacks."
The growth of Linux on the desktop, according to analysts, has been stymied by piracy. Many people prefer to use pirated Windows OS on their desktops. However, since Microsoft is hardening its coming down hard on piracy, more users may opt for Linux since it reduces the cost of the PC.
The cost of the PCs is Rs 21,600 each (includes OS and a 19" TFT monitor). Linux, according to Umashakar, has helped ELCOT "reduce general hardware costs by nearly 25 per cent. In the case of high-end servers, the savings could be as much as 80 per cent."
ELCOT has also set up its own software development centre.
"Another big advantage of Linux is that you can experiment with different applications without making big investments. We soon designed a suite of applications, which will deliver all the functionality the teachers will need. We also have a 28-seat software development wing supported by SUSE Linux Enterprise on the server and desktop, fully powered by open source tools," says Umashankar.