Pick a Free OS

Why does Linux make sense for India?

Everything that is free has a catch. Maybe not this time. However, just to

give you the benefit of the doubt let's take a peek to get a fair

representation of Linux and how it compares as an operating system.

Computerization today is no more a luxury; it has become a way of life. It

increases efficiency, processes huge amounts of data and is an important

driving factor behind the economy of a country. Every organization has an

IT budget, whether it's large or small, commercial or non-commercial. Budgets

are limited in most organizations and they all face a common challenge of

making optimum use of funds along with utilizing the existing IT infrastructure.

Why does Linux make sense for India ? Does it really make sense ? Let's

find out.

The open source movement has started and companies no more consider revenue in

selling software. The new revenue model is in making money out of services.

Linux helped to bring about this change. Moreover, it has brought about a

paradigm shift in software delivery.

When I first heard about Linux, I got a choice of installing it from a CD, from

the hard disk, from the Internet, over the network, or creating floppies and

installing them. I found Linux to be very flexible and easier to use compared

to all the Unices that I had worked with before. Similarly, when non-profit

organizations look at Linux, they say "it's free so might as well give it a

try." Corporate managers know it will save them a lot of money.

Cost Benefit

Let's compare the cost of a Linux system to that of Windows NT, since that is

a popular server operating system. You can also compare it with other

commercial operating systems and the results should be similar.

If you use Linux as a print and file server for a network of about 50 users,

you will save close to 100,000 Indian Rupees. This is based on the approximate

cost of Windows NT, which is Rupees 30,000 for a 5-user version and 1,500 per

additional user. One can save more if Linux is also used for services such

as e-mail server/Internet gateway. If you have 50 users you can save close to

275,000 Indian Rupees. This is based on the approximate cost of Windows NT

being Rupees 45,000 for a 5-user version and 3,000 per additional user.

Linux also reduces the cost of hardware as it runs more efficiently than other

operating systems. Now organizations can pull out their old hardware, which