Delhi hosts Open Source India Week

Delhi hosts Open Source India Week

Microsoft gets serious about Open Source - engages with open source community!

Open Source India Week (OSIW), India’s largest Linux and Open Source convention and expo, kicked of its two-day Delhi segment after completing the Bangalore and Mumbai editions. OSIW is all set to get the open source community rocking. Literally, as it is now being supported by Microsoft, long considered to be the “opposing side”.

Microsoft’s Radhesh Balakrishnan, Director Platform Strategy could be seen wooing the open-source community, holding an olive branch in the form of promoting interpretability between the two systems. “We believe multiple platforms can and will continue to co-exist, and that customers will choose those options or combination of options that suit their needs best. We believe that we should be able to deliver seamless experiences even in such heterogeneous scenarios. So we engage with the open source community through industry collaboration as well as open source development, i.e. promoting interoperability with open source software through engagements organized by the Microsoft Open Source Software Lab and on the Microsoft community Web site, Port25. During OSIW we intend to share our progress on this journey and further work on enhancing our collaboration with the Open Source Community in India."

There is a perceptible shift in areas where open-source is making head-way. In several sessions at the OSIW, the need to adopt a more collaborative approach is being appreciated as open-source increasingly makes inroads into day-to-day business applications. An interesting aspect reflecting a growing trend is the growing community of “FOSS entrepreneurs”. Commented Dr Anthony Wasserman, Carnegie-Mellon University, West, “it is very encouraging to see so many budding entrepreneurs here, I hope they understand that in addition to great technology, it is marketing and selling it right that makes for successful business”.

The Delhi programme of the OSIW includes the TechZone – workshops and technical sessions, the Software Development Talks which update software developers with the latest trends, technologies and methodologies in the open source world; while IT Implementation Talks inform IT managers of latest open source solutions and best practices across a wide spectrum of business verticals and applications. While the workshops, seminars and keynote lectures are being held on Feb 14 and 15, a CXO Summit will also be held on Feb 15.

One of the areas in which open-source has made significant progress has been in developing accessibility tools and solutions aimed at empowering the physically challenged community through the use of technology. There is a great need in the area of developing solutions that are in local languages for the visually impaired or people suffering from autism or cerebral palsy, and the OSS is one hope for them to live an enhanced quality of life. This will be the theme of a special session of “Open Source Solutions for People with Disabilities” planned on the second day of the convention.

The OSIW has been put together by the Forum for Open Source Innovation in India (FOSII) and is supported through sponsorships by Microsoft, Novell, RedHat, NRCFoss, Intel, and others. The event continued through the week with a OSIW and the CTO Forum at Bangalore, followed by the CXO Forum at Mumbai, and now the OSIW at Delhi accompanied by the ManageIT Expo. India's biggest Linux & Open Source conference and expo, formerly held under the banner of LinuxAsia for four years at Delhi, has expanded across the three cities and now spans week-long 17 Events with 100-plus speakers and mainstream exhibitors showcasing solutions for business, mobility and human welfare.

The Conference speakers included such leading lights as Klaus and Adriane Knopper, co-developers of Knoppix; Dr. Anthony Wasserman, Executive Director of the Carnegie Mellon University’s Center for Open Source Investigation (COSI), Louis Suárez-Potts of Indian speakers and industry leaders include Nandkumar Pradhan, CEO of Red Hat India; Sandeep Menon, Head of Novell; Vikas Kanungo, Chairman - The Society for Promotion of e-Governance, India; and C Umashankar, MD, ELCOT. One of the star speakers was David Axmark, who is a co-founder of MySQL, a firm that was recently bought by Sun Microsystems for US $ 1 billion.