With the Microsoft Corporation deciding to stop technical assistance for Windows XP operating system next month, the Tamil Nadu government has advised all its departments to install free open source software BOSS Linux.
“Consider installing BOSS [Bharat Operating System Solutions] Linux as one of the mandatory operating system,” said an order issued by Information Technology Department. Listing various aspects in support of the software developed by the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), the order said BOSS Linux, by virtue of being open source software, can be modified to specific needs.
A key benefit of the switch will be the consequential savings to the government. “The huge investment cost involved in purchasing closed source software [such as Windows XP] may be avoided, which in turn translates into huge savings for the government,” the order said.
Though the government had, by another order in November 2011, approved installation of BOSS Linux for all its departments, many of them continued to Windows XP use as the primary operating system. The prompt for the present advisory is the Microsoft decision as a result of which security updates or technical support for Windows XP operating system would not be discontinued after April 8.
“Phasing out of the proprietary software may necessitate upgrading to a higher/latest version which may call for an additional spending not only on the software but also on the hardware.”
“This can be prevented by going in for BOSS,” the order said. The open source OS supports all Indian languages, bio-sensing devices, digital signatures and could be customised for local environments. OSS, the order said, “is almost free of virus. Hence loss of information, hacking, phishing can be prevented… there is no need to spend on expensive anti virus software.”
Microsoft India on its website said that for the past 12 years support for Windows XP was being provided. “But now the time has come for us, along with our hardware and software partners, to invest our resources toward supporting more recent technologies so that we can continue to deliver great new experiences.”
“If you continue to use Windows XP after support ends, your computer will still work but it might become more vulnerable to security risks and viruses,” the company said.