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Technology war in India just got rocking

Saturday, 10 December 2005 - 10:44pm IST

Microsoft and Linux fight the technology war with rock tunes

Microsoft and Linux fight the technology war with rock tunes


BANGALORE: "Open all the windows, as he shuts the door,'' chorused a rock group as Microsoft monarch Bill Gates made his entry at Friday night's meeting of developers in Bangalore. It looked as if Microsoft was finally responding with a rock composition of its own to the musical offensive ``Linux Can'' that has been at play at the conferences of it's traditional rival Linux.


Microsoft denies it, but, finally, the battle of technology is being fought to the tune of rock at Bangalore.


While Delhi's rock band Parikrama has performed for Microsoft, Bangalore's Phenom has done the job for Linux. Microsoft, which follows a license-fee-based model where the source code is not given to users and Linux, which works on free open source software, have been at loggerheads. Microsoft may have lost its battle against open source software in Germany and Brazil, but the fight is still on in India.


Phenom, whose members are part of the Linux Group first performed the special instrument number `Linux Can' at an open source event in 2001. It repeated the performance less than two weeks ago at this year's conference, sponsored by the union ministry of IT, at the same venue where Gates addressed his developers. Linux Can was recorded using Linux and has since become an anthem for open source supporters the world over, points out Phenom drummer Mirnal Kalakrishna.


On its part, Microsoft approached Parikrama to write and perform "Superheroes: The Developer's Song" for its developers forum.


Parikrama was given Microsoft literature on what a developer's job entails and asked to compose a song three weeks prior to the event.


"We composed and recorded this song in a matter of two days," says Subir Malik of Parikrama.


The lines of the chorus read, "Opens all the windows, as he shuts the door, As the magic begins to flow, out to the fore." The lyric has sparked a flurry of blog entries by Linux enthusiasts about the hard-to-miss advertisement for Microsoft Windows in the song.


Subir brushes off this saying that undue importance is being assigned to the lyrics. According to a spokesperson, Microsoft now intends to use the Parikrama number at developer forums abroad.

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