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Statement: The Bangalore One project

The Bangalore One project, while noble in concept and intent, is a classic implementation of a project built on lack of information by the people executing it.

The project, being built completely on a proprietary platform developed by an American software company, will be used to collect and maintain information about the citizens of the state of Karnataka.

However, the implementation does not take into account several issues, which seem to have been completely ignored for commercial reasons:

  1. The Microsoft platform, despite valiant attempts by the company to prove otherwise, is the most insecure platform in the industry today. Close to 40% of Information System resources are spent today fighting the results of various flaws of the Microsoft platform, including, but not limited to, Viruses, Worms, Spy applications, etc. Entrusting out citizens' private information to this platform is extremely dangerous, and even the United states government or European governments do not do this.

  2. Mr.Rajeev Chawla made a statement, saying "Microsoft is quite popular even in villages." "Popularity" in this context is a measure of how many people are using one application instead of another. Mr.Chawla conveniently neglects to mention that the only application running in villages today is the Bhoomi project which, while quite successful, is a Microsoft sponsored project, and spearheaded by Mr.Chawla, making the popularity of Microsoft applications running in villages 100%.

    As an aside, I would like to mention that while the Bhoomi project is much lauded as a successful Microsoft technology project, Mr.Bill Gates, who built his fantastic mansion in the USA, has his land and building records maintained on a Linux system by the local authorities.

  3. Mr.Chawla goes on to say: "Let open-source become so popular, then we will have no problem using it", completely ignoring the fact that when Microsoft held a developer conference right here in Bangalore in August, barely 500 people attended the event, but when the Linux Bangalore conference was held here in December, close to 3000 people attended the event from across India and the world. Further, there is hardly any software development forum in India today that does not have immense Open Source development skills, including big names such as Infosys, Wipro, Mindtree, Encore (the developers of the Simputer), and many many more.

  4. Open Source technologies are free of legal and commercial issues that one invariably finds when using Microsoft technologies. This means that one can use and deploy applications without worrying about financial or legal implications.

    I urge the government of Karnataka to reconsider handing out our citizens' private information to a platform that is so clearly insecure, and not even deployed in Microsoft's home country for such sensitive applications. Open Source provides you control over the technology that you invest in.

    -- Atul Chitnis, 27-Dec-2004

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