/Disclaimer: I am not any software company including Microsoft. I run linux on my laptop and i love free software!/
The new IT roadmap roadmap draft for Kerala has been released. Is this the road down to neverland for IT in Kerala?
Lets take a few of the salient points in the declaration
1) IT sector not to be exempted from strikes- IT sectors are cash rich and have higher margins compared to other industries. This declaration enables the trade union leaders to hold investors to ransom, demand higher money from them and grow mob violence with more funds. Which start up would want to start in Kerala knowing that as it grows more, the more the trade union leaders are going to demand from them? Then why this point int he declaration? Because that enables party cadres to make money and work harder for the party. What is the fortune at the bottom of the pyramid? -the huge vote bank.
2) Free software to be pushed- Sounds good. Looks to be in line with the leftist thinking of bridging the gap between the information rich and the poor. But, what if free software is made compulsory for companies working in IT parks? Now, thats bad. Its good to spread IT at the grassroots ( not that we dont have an abundance of friendly pirates who will give whichever program you ask for). Its good to spread awareness about FOSS and Linux, and have more people working on such systems. An unbelievably large number of people equate the image of a computer to Microsoft Windows. Even people who service computers see Microsoft was a gold standard for approving any software. (One of them even asked me whether the Mac OS X was Microsoft certified.. ha ha ).
It is not as if no one makes money in open source software. People do it not just for feeling part of the movement. They do it to increase their employability, and showcase their skills to the developer community. Someone has to profit someway for a sustainable business model. IBM declared it was investing $ 1 billion in Java technologies. Why? Coz there would be more people to work on IBMs WebSphere Application server that is made on Java. It is an irony that the same people who swore against big corporates like IBM suddenly find themselves working for the same company. It is like giving free razors so that people will buy your razor blades. Companies should be free to use whichever software they want, be it free or paid. So nothing in particular is achieved by making it compulsory to use free software. Except may be fool a few more people and sway votes. Aha!
But there is one thing I love this government for, esp the chief minister VS Achuthanandan. For kicking the Microsoft arse by making it compulsory to use free software for educational purposes in schools in Kerala.