[Fsf-press] Save Kannada Campaign

James Mathew james@[EMAIL-PROTECTED]
Thu Oct 18 10:49:12 IST 2007


Save Kannada From Microsoft's Monopoly

The Save Kannada Campaign brings individuals and groups together in
opposing Microsoft's "Letter of Intent" with the Government of Karnataka
to establish paperless offices in the state. While the deal is
undoubtedly to the advantage of Microsoft in furthering its monopoly
interests, campaigners point out that the losers would be the people of
Karnataka and the Kannada language.

Microsoft has an abysmal track record of Kannada language support. The
version of Kannada rendered by Microsoft's operating system is riddled
with errors and logical inconsistencies. Despite the fact that these
errors have repeatedly been brought to Microsoft's notice, appallingly,
the company has refused to acknowledge the blunders. These continue to
be shipped with the company's products. And so, if the proposed
partnership with the state government comes through, error-filled
Kannada will be Microsoft's new gift to Karnataka's schools, colleges,
offices, and government departments.

The Save Kannada Campaign also points out that the rights of consumers
to reliable and trustworthy products is at stake. Microsoft, a company
that faces grave antitrust charges in Europe, will have a monopolist
grip over the software market in Karnataka too. Its strategy of
"locking-in" data and applications will create a huge class of dependent
consumers who will be unable to move their data away from
Microsoft-proprietorial applications. Broken standards will thus be
pushed using the might of monopoly. This will have disastrous and
long-reaching effects on Kannada language computing.

Campaigners point out that the concerns of losing control over
government offices and destruction of the local expertise in language
computing have been raised earlier by well known writers MLC
Chandrashekhar Kambar and late Poornachandra Tejasvi.

The Save Kannada Campaign urges the government to consider Free and Open
Source Software replacements which gives the ability to control their
own computing without depending on a multinational monopoly and its

They are requesting people to petition the Chief Minister. An Open
Letter to Kannada Chief Minister is available at the following site:

The campaign Home page is : http://savekannada.googlepages.com


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