India is the fastest growing market for open source operating system Ubuntu, helped by tie-ups with top PC vendors and the increasing adoption of cloud-based applications in the country.
The Linux-based operating system grew 50% year-over-year in India. Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, has partnered with Dell and HP to bundle the OS with certain models of their laptops offered in India.
“India is the fastest growing market for us with great stickiness and adoption of Ubuntu. It is definitely one of our key focus markets globally,” said Prakash Advani, regional manager for Asia Pacific at Canonical.
As enterprises move more to the cloud, Ubuntu becomes more relevant for them. “People are switching to Ubuntu as it is simpler to understand. It is also easier to use and install than other OS,” said Sanchit Vir Gogia, chief analyst and CEO of Greyhound Research.
Online directory service JustDial is among the early adopters of Ubuntu and has 4,500 desktops running on the operating system currently. “Since our CRM (customer relationship management) is browser-based,” said Mahesh Pawar, head of IT and telecom at JustDial. “We chose Ubuntu because it is stable, doesn’t require anti-virus patch management administration like Windows, is highly secure and cost effective.”
To ensure that users are comfortable, the company has started conducting Ubuntu basic awareness training. “If users still insist for Windows operating system, then we educate those users how they can use Ubuntu effectively,” Pawar said.
Bangalore-based Narayana Hrudayalaya, a low-cost and high quality healthcare service provider, is also trying to move from Windows to Ubuntu to cut costs.
“We are trying out Ubuntu. We aren’t against licenced technology but we want to use it sparingly.
“We are trying to make critical applications work on open source operating systems,” Srikanth Raman, CIO at Narayana Hrudayalaya, said.
In the past couple of years, Ubuntu has been able to penetrate into the government and education sectors with some large deals such as the 15-lakh laptop deal with the Uttar Pradesh government, a 61,000 laptop deal with the University of Delhi and a 28,000 laptop deal with Assam’s Amtron.
Ubuntu has also seen growth in the consumer segment with users opting for cheaper versions of laptops that come pre-installed with it.
“Ubuntu’s partnership with Dell was a crucial one. With laptops being pre-installed with Ubuntu and sold in numerous Dell stores, proved to be beneficial in increasing sales,” analyst Gogia said. In 2012, Dell joined hands with Ubuntu and announced that 850 stores in the country would sell laptops pre-installed with the OS. Dell currently offers most of its Inspiron and Vostro ranges with Ubuntu.
“Our retail business has been growing quarter-on-quarter. While we don’t have a more detailed breakup of numbers, in that scenario Ubuntu has correspondingly grown as well,” said Alen Jose, Consumer & Small Business Product Lead, Dell India.
Source: The Economic Times