The Haryana government has chosen to go the open-source way and signed an agreement with Sun Microsystems to use it open-source based office suite, StarOffice 7. StarOffice 7 will be adopted across all the state government departments.
Haryana on Wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding with Sun Microsystems in this regard. Harbaksh Singh, commissioner, electronics and IT department, and Sun Micro managing director Bhaskar Pramanik, signed the MOU.
Harbaksh Singh said that Sun will supply to Haryana its StarOffice 7 software at Rs 998 against its market selling price of Rs 4,680. There is no minimum commitment for the purchase of software licenses, Singh said.
He said the Haryana government had decided to adopt the software because of the 'monopolistic and whimsical behaviour adopted by Microsoft for its Office software.'
It is the first time that an open-source based office productivity software has been openly endorsed by a state government in India, claimed Sun in a media statement.
"The MOU marks a landmark agreement for us in our efforts to drive IT adoption in the state. This agreement with Sun will enable the government of Haryana to significantly ramp up desktop penetration within its departments as the cost of installing desktops are expected to come down dramatically. Governments across the world are adopting open standards based technologies in their efforts to free themselves from proprietary technologies that lock them into costly licensing agreements and haphazard upgrades," said Singh.
The adoption of StarOffice 7, Singh said, will help Haryana bring down costs and divert funds to other 'more pressing social concerns.'
StarOffice 7, an office suite comparable to Microsoft Office, supports 10 languages and offers almost all the functionality available in Microsoft Office. Most importantly, Sun's StarOffice costs start at less than one-sixth the cost of Microsoft Office 2003.