China To Hoist Red Flag In Indian Linux Market

by Hinesh Jethwani    Mar 29, 2004

Red Hat’s monopolistic hold on the Indian market, which has made the brand almost a synonym of sorts to the word ’Linux’, is all set to change with the entrance of new flavors in the Open Source front.

Altosys Software Technologies Limited, Chennai, is all set to release Red Flag in the Indian market by the second week of April.

Speaking to CXOtoday, L. Ramesh, business manager, Linux, Altosys, said, “Red flag will offer a complete range of Linux solutions starting from desktops to high end servers. All versions are currently in Chinese, and we are working on the English customization, which will be distributed shortly in India.”

Since the non-Red Hat market consists of a very small percentage of users in India, how exactly does Altosys plan to get customers to purchase Red Flag? Ramesh replied, “Red Hat, with its early entry into the Indian market, has gained a substantial market share. Strictly speaking, what it has managed to achieve is a share of a relatively nascent market. Linux is in fact gaining popularity and acceptance only now. So the market would actually grow at a greater pace in the future and we intend to capitalize on the same.”

“We would focus on providing user friendly Linux solutions at much more competitive prices. We would primarily concentrate on after sales support. In fact, this would be the single largest parameter that would soon determine the leader in the Indian market and we are hopeful that we will be able to make substantial in roads with our support network. Our target is to capture 15% to 20% of the Linux market in the coming FY,” added Ramesh.

Detailing the difference between Red Flag and other flavors of Linux like SuSE, Red Hat, etc, Ramesh explained, “The base kernel is the same. There is not much any one can do to that. It is the additional packages and the applications that would play a major difference. First and foremost we would give much wider hardware support and Easy GUI based installation.”

Altosys has also built certain applications that are very specific to certain market segments like SOHO, Government Organizations, PSU’s, Hospitals, etc. The company plans to bundle these and market them as complete solutions.

Red Flag products will come with standard installation support for a particular period of time. After the expiry period, customers, depending on their convenience, can enter in to a support agreement with Altosys or with the company’s partners based on their requirement. The options offered, include remote log in support, on site support, dial in support, 24/7 Panic button support, etc.

Altosys plans to announce its price structure during its ’All India Launch’ program, which is slated for the 3rd week of April. Initially, the company will focus on the desktop segment with the introduction of Red Flag’s desktop release 4.0, and subsequently move on to the server market.

The company also plans to bundle the software by tying up with different vendors. Ramesh explained, “We are speaking to various vendors like LG, HCL, IBM, Hp, Acer, Samsung, etc., for bundling Red Flag with their systems.”

Altosys is also working on providing Tamil, Bengali and Hindi version of Red Flag in the future.

Tags: Red Flag