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Small town boy reboots Microsoft

A 24-yr-old from TN creates software that adds muscle to Microsoft's new operating system, reports GC Shekhar.

india Updated: Aug 06, 2006 02:12 IST
GC Shekhar

He'd wanted to be the next Dhanraj Pillai, but the vista that destiny opened up for A Mahesh led to greener pastures in the world of technology.

The 24-year-old from small town Tamil Nadu has created a software that will add considerable muscle to Vista, Microsoft's brand new operating system due for launch next year.

In all probability, Vista will incorporate Mahesh's creation, which is an image browser, image editor, web browser, system tools and disk manager rolled into one.

In fact, Microsoft has already validated and awarded the product BETA2 iBRO.NET a patent protection certificate.

This means anyone may make use of Mahesh's product using the validation key but would need to pay Microsoft a royalty a part of which would reach this shy lad from Palayamkottai in southern Tamil Nadu.

The first member of his family to reach the post-graduate level, Mahesh developed the BETA2 iBRO.NET as the fifth-year project for his integrated M Sc course in computer science. He chose Vista's developer platform, where individuals are invited to contribute features for Vista.

"For sheer conceptualisation and acumen, his creation shows enormous scope and maturity. It's a full fledged tool that would not only remove deficiencies in Vista but add never-seen features in the OS," explained Dr Krishnan, professor of computer science at Manonmaniam Sundaranar University, who helped fine tune Mahesh's creation.

For example, why a computer hangs remains a mystery to most. But Mahesh's product can display the reasons. It can also optimise the download speed of a broadband connection when needed.

Unlike other OS, it can also display properties of all the drives in the computer simultaneously. "Before Vista is launched, I plan to add more features to make my product more comprehensive," said Mahesh, whose father is a retired peon.

"Such a product would take a team of at least 10 people in a top IT company months to develop. But for a student from a rural background to do all this in just 5 months on his own is amazing," observed N Chokkan, a columnist on computer.

Mahesh, who will soon join IBM at Bangalore, is unfazed by the recognition and remains grateful to his parents and R Panneerselvam, chairman of his school who waived his fees for the five-year course.