Microsoft tactics push India toward Linux

One of India’s 28 states plan to distribute 100,000 Linux laptops to students there. Sounds like a buying agent volume, Tamil Nadu decided to use Linux exclusively after being put off by Microsoft’s bundling tactics academic users.

Laptops will be purchased in volume by the Electronics Corporation of Tamil Nadu (Elcot), who works as a volume buyer for students in the state. Tamil Nadu is the Southern-most of India’s 28 states, and home to the technology center of Chennai (formerly known as “Madras”). Elcot said it will buy more than 100,000 laptops this year, selling them to Indian students for about $ 800, a sufficient mark-down compared to the retail value, he said.

In evaluating the laptop hardware, Elcot claim has two main tests. One is the “fire walk test” which requires the laptop to survive a stand and walk on by the 175-pound. The others – hopefully easier to pass – require that they fully support Linux.

Elcot said it requested bids from Microsoft, proposed to pay $ 12 for a copy of the Microsoft operating system. However, Microsoft reportedly responded with an offer to sell Windows and Office bundled together in “academic discount” price of $ 57. Elcot said it declined, because, “Every bundling can lead to serious exploitation of consumers.”


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