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VS slams Gates on Microsoft

Two weeks after banning the cola giants, the Marxist-led government in Kerala has launched a campaign to make the state a Microsoft-free zone.

india Updated: Aug 30, 2006 04:57 IST

Two weeks after banning the cola giants, the Marxist-led government in Kerala has launched a campaign to make the state a Microsoft-free zone. It has unveiled a three-year project to promote Linux, a free software, in all state-funded schools and colleges.

Linux guru Richard Stallman and Kerala Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan share a common agenda in breaking the backs of monopolies. A good friend of the Marxist hardliner, Freeman rushed to Kerala two days ago to ensure the state is a Microsoft-free zone.

Rolling out a red carpet for Stallman, Achuthanandan has announced an ambitious plan to log in to Linux. Initially, 12,500 high schools of the state will dump Windows. After schools, the government may target colleges and Akshaya centres. Akhsaya is a campaign to bridge the digital divide and make the state e-literate.

In the current year, Class VIII students will be able to use Linux. And by 2008, Class XI and Class X students will follow suit. 

"We are not against Microsoft. We are only opposing their monopolistic tendencies," explained state education Minister MA Baby.

Kerala may not be a small market for the IT giant. Thanks to Akshaya, the state is witnessing the highest personal computer sales in the country. Almost all PC majors have set up their shops in Malappuram, the country's first fully e-literate state.

Citing the report of an NGO, the state had banned two popular fizzy drinks two weeks back. Despite the central government giving a clean chit to Coca Cola and Pepsi, the state government had refused to lift the ban. Now the issue is in High Court.