Sunday, January 6, 2008

Reasons why Linux will not take off in India

Many times, I have wondered why Free software is not making inroads in India.  And the main reason I think is piracy. Over here, most people buy an assembled system and get a pirated Windows XP and MS Office 2003 for free. Those who buy costly laptops also buy Windows, sure, but then they promptly get a pirated MS Office installed. Till now, the only genuine version of MS Office I have seen is the one I downloaded for a free trial! If people get Windows and MS Office for free, they will never try an unfamiliar system.  And the vendors who sell the assembled systems do not know anything about Linux.

People have not heard of Linux, those that have think it is difficult, and those that try once give up because there isn't anyone who can help them when a problem occurs.  However, all this is because people have not got the choice. If they had to pay for their software, they would invariably have enquired about a lower cost system, and the vendors would have been forced to learn Linux in order to support them.

Piracy should stop. When one uses a pirated software, he shows disrespect  to the developers of both the free alternative he is disregarding as well as the developers of the software he is pirating. To the former, he is saying: Look,  your program is not good enough to be used, even if it is free, and to the latter he is saying: Look, the actual price of your program is zero, it is worthless! 

Piracy should stop. When people buy their OS and software, they will perhaps be able to appreciate the Free alternatives more