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IndLinux.org announces launch of Hindi interface for computers

IndLinux.org announced the launch of IndLinux Milan v0.37, a Hindi interface to Gnome, the graphical user interface (GUI) of the GNU/Linux operating system. The software is available as a free download from the Web site www.indlinux.org.

With IndLinux Milan v0.37 installed, those who can read and write Hindi can now use computers in their own language.

The organization said that this is a major step forward in bringing the benefits of information technology to the 400 million people who speak the Hindi language. Prakash Advani, co-founder of IndLinux.org said that the organization has been working on localizing the GNU/Linux operating system to Hindi for the last three years. Localization involves changing the menus and other elements of the graphic user interface from

English to Hindi.

"Hindi is the third largest language in the world, yet there are no operating systems available in this language. IndLinux.org therefore decided to make Hindi support available for free to create a revolution in Indian Language Computing," said Advani.

As the world becomes increasingly digitized, Indian Language audiences need to be brought into the mainstream of the digital revolution so that they can also reap the socio-economic benefits of information technology. The IndLinux Milan software is expected to plug a critical gap in the market, since popular operating systems and software are available only in English which is spoken by a mere five percent of India.

IndLinux Milan v0.37 works on Red Hat Linux v8.0 and the organization is working on porting it to other distributions of the GNU/Linux operating system. Advani said that they chose the name Milan (Hindi for "Union") because it signifies the inclusion of India's Hindi speaking masses into the mainstream of the digital age.

As the cost of computers fall, the biggest bottleneck to the widespread use of computers is the availability of Indian language software. By making the software available free of cost, Indlinux.org hopes that information technology will reach each and every part of India. IndLinux.org is a voluntary, non-profit effort that has been supported by Netcore Solutions

Pvt. Ltd, a Mumbai-based technology company. After

having localized GNU/Linux to Hindi, the organization hopes to localize the GUI to Marathi, Gujarati and other Indian languages.

To download the Milan software (a 1.5MB download) click on http://www.indlinux.org/downloads/index.php.