|FROM ||Dave Williams
|SUBJECT ||Subject: [hangout] MS in India
We've seen the future, Indian Prez tells Gates - and you're not in it
By Andrew Orlowski in San Francisco
Posted: 03/06/2003 at 03:19 GMT
Each year, while Bill Gates parties at the World Economic Forum at
Davos, Richard M Stallman makes a trip to Porto Alegre. Stallman takes
part in discussions on alternatives to globalization, US-style, at the
World Social Forum. His travel choice appears to be paying off.
Last week Indian President Dr APJ Kalam last week called for a halt to
the "devastating" impact of proprietary software. He revealed that he
had what he called "differences" with the Microsoft founder when the two
met last November.
"The most unfortunate thing is that India still seems to believe in
proprietary solutions," the Times of India reports President Kamal.
"Further spread of IT, which is influencing the daily life of
individuals, will have a devastating effect on the lives of society due
to any small shift in the business practice involving these proprietary
solutions. It is precisely for these reasons open source software needs
to be built which will be cost effective for the entire society."
Not for the first time, Gates was following in Stallman's footsteps.
Both visited India last Fall.
In November, Microsoft pledged $400 of investment in the world's largest
democracy, including an education scheme that involves Microsoft
software, a move criticized by the Free Software Foundation Of India.
In response to some skeptical questioning from the Indian press about
the investments, Gates had this to say:-
"I will say that most countries in the world which Microsoft supports
and our partners there, we help them simplify and synchronize. It is
only because of Microsoft's approach that the computer industry has
become a worldwide industry. Opening up the standards of the PC and
making them available globally enabled them to avail themselves of the
progress globally. What that meant to a country like India is pretty
And he probably believes it, too. In Bill's model of globalization, he
is the world. ®
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