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Issue of April 2004 

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'Mix and match' is spicier

MAIT, the apex body of the Indian Hardware industry, has zeroed in on Open Source Software (OSS). It believes a combination of open source and proprietary systems, is the right formula for enterprise computing.

MAIT recently held a national conference titled 'Open Source Software: A new direction for India?' It attempted to explore new avenues for OSS in India. The discussions highlighted the importance of using merged solutions of open source and proprietary systems for optimal results.

Dr Gautam Shroff, Head-Architecture and Consulting, TCS, said: "Open Source choices combined with proprietary software can yield low TCO for users as well as provide viable business models for the industry."

During the discussion some innovative suggestions were offered to solve the support issues that are often cited against OSS implementations. One such suggestion is to encourage contributions from in-house personnel, to the open source movement. Such contributions will not only increase knowledge levels but also take care of support issues.

Another approach to tackling the support issue is to have the involvement of academic institutions that have skilled talent pools in the form of students—to provide support structures.

"In the open source world, a support structure needs to be present, that the academia in conjunction with the industry can provide," said Dr D.B. Phatak, Subrao Nilekani Chair Professor, IIT Bombay.

Held on 24th February 2004, the conference was presided by Mukesh Khullar, Secretary-IT, Government of Maharashtra. It also cited the emerging importance of OSS with reference to Indian implementations like NSE.IT, BARC and Government of Maharashtra.

—Anil Patrick R.

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