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BJP in power to hit Microsoft? - Sathish - 03-17-2009

Leader of India’s main opposition party BJP, LK Advani, has said that if his party comes to power, it will actively promote opensource software and internet telephony, a policy that could make Microsoft and some top local telecom companies see red.

While promising one crore laptops to students, the party said in its IT and telecom vision document released last week, it would spend Rs 10,000 cr on buying top-of-the-line laptops with open source software. The party also plans to allow unrestricted internet telephony.

When contacted, a Microsoft India spokesman refused to comment. Experts, however, feel that this move might not have a major impact on the software giant.

Open source has been there for a long time in the market now. Any promotional thing for open source will not make any significant difference to the major players. Both enjoy a very different kind of market and there is significant demand for both,” says Akhilesh Tuteja, executive director of consulting firm KPMG.

Commenting on the BJP’s IT vision, Sun Microsystem’s country director Jaijit Bhattacharya said: “We welcome the IT vision of one of India’s significant political parties. We believe the policy will help in improving IT industry in India through adoption of open standards and promotion of domestic web hosting industry. We hope other political parties will follow suit.”

The open-source alternative Linux has been gaining momentum in the country. Not only are big enterprises opting for it, even the small and medium size businesses are making use of the open source software.