Tamil Nadu gets dual-boot Win-Linux desktops

Tamil Nadu gets dual-boot Win-Linux desktops

Summary: Indian state provides Windows XP Starter Edition for those who want it, but will continue to encourage Linux use.


The Indian state of Tamil Nadu has finalized a tender for 40,000 Lenovo desktops which can be installed with both Novell's Suse Linux and Microsoft's Windows XP Starter Edition.

According to C. Umashankar, managing director of Electronics Corporation of Tamil Nadu (Elcot), the desktops will be deployed across schools and government departments in the state. Elcot is Tamil Nadu's state-owned IT supplier.

Umashankar said the desktops will be installed with either Suse Linux or dual-boot Windows XP Starter Edition/Suse Linux configurations, depending on the needs of the organization.

For instance, schools will be provided with Suse Linux desktops, while government employees who still require Windows in their work will get dual-boot machines, he told ZDNet Asia.

Dual-boot machines will cost 22,000 rupees (US$497) each, though this was not the initial price point quoted by the vendors, Umakshankar said, adding that Chennai-based IT company Origin Infosys will supply the Lenovo desktops.

He said that Elcot was originally quoted 21,800 rupees (US$492) for each Lenovo system, whether the preloaded OS was Suse Linux or Windows XP Starter Edition. After some negotiation, Elcot secured the final price of 22,000 rupees (US$497) for dual-boot systems, Umashankar said.

Suse Linux is a full-fledged OS with no restrictions on how the platform is used, while Microsoft's Windows XP Starter Edition does not allow users to run more than three software applications at one time.

According to Umashankar, users will be "encouraged" to use Suse Linux as far as possible.

Earlier this year, Tamil Nadu announced plans for all government agencies across the state to switch from Microsoft Windows desktop to Linux and the OpenOffice productivity suite. The move is expected to slash the local government's IT cost by 15 to 25 percent.

Topics: Software, Open Source, Operating Systems

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • This is a great day for India, for Tamil Nadu, for Open source computing, for freedom. It is also saves the Govt and people of struggling third world country a big amount of money. Mr. P Chidambaram please take note of this. Make Mr. C. Umashankar the IT Czar of India so India gets on the IT fast track because this step will maximize the benefit of the Euucation Cess. Thank you.
    A wellwisher from USA
  • I would say it is milestone in IT Governance. I hope all other indian states will follow soon.

    It's great savings of government.
  • Great news!

    Next priority should be given to getting reasonable power supply the schools.

    In Kerala many govt schools has computers, but no good power supply. Computers are damaged because they are not covered by appropriate support contract.. Hope TN Govt takes care long term support of this infrastructure..

  • Very exciting news! Tamil Nadu should look at using the 'Multiplied' SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop Strategy to provide additional cost savings for their SUSE Linux computer labs.

    Reference cases are available here: