(This article is part of Today’s Cache, The Hindu’s newsletter on emerging themes at the intersection of technology, innovation and policy. To get it in your inbox, subscribe here.)
Indian Defence Ministry chooses Maya over Microsoft
India’s Defence Ministry is dropping the Microsoft operating system in favour of the locally built Ubuntu-based OS named Maya. Developed by government agencies in about half a year, Maya will be used only by Defence Ministry computers for the time being; the Indian Navy has reportedly cleared Maya for use while the Army and the Air Force are still in the evaluation stage.
As more cyber criminals, including state-sponsored hackers, target government infrastructure and communications, Maya is intended to thwart such attempts. It is backed by the Chakravyuh protection system which is also being deployed in Defence Ministry computers. While Microsoft is a legacy operating system, its products and services have been breached in past cyber attacks by allegedly China and Russia-linked actors.
PC import limits ignite license debate
The Indian government this month restricted laptop, tablet, and PC imports unless valid licenses are furnished, with the order’s enforcement being deferred to November 1. There are some exemptions for single units bought through e-commerce sites, products being sent for repair and/or return, and products that are part of an entity’s capital good.
The order aims to reduce India’s dependence on foreign imports, along with boosting domestic manufacturers and producers. Minister of State for Electronic and Information Technology, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, denied claims that the government wanted to monopolise the license business. Some companies which are expected to be impacted by the import restrictions include HP - which dominates the domestic PC market - as well as Lenovo, Dell, Acer, and Asus.
Musk and Zuckerberg trade taunts over cage fight
While Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg is eager to fight X (formerly Twitter) owner Elon Musk in their highly anticipated Italian cage fight, the two tech tycoons are unable to even settle on a date for the match. Musk has promised an exciting location for the fight in Italy but claimed he would need surgery before committing to the match. Zuckerberg expressed doubt that the match would go ahead, citing Musk’s constant delays and excuses. For his part, Musk reportedly called Zuckerberg a “chicken.” The two tech leaders’ relationship has become fraught since Meta released its text-based social media app, Threads, which Twitter lawyer Alex Spiro claimed was a copycat app.
Italian Culture Minister Gennaro Sangiuliano said the match would not be held in Rome but expressed hope that an event with Musk would raise a huge amount of money for charity.
Today’s Cache will not be sent out on Tuesday, August 15 on account of India’s Independence Day holiday.