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Microsoft dumped after India PM's emails go AWOL

Ushers in open-source era

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The office of the Indian Prime Minister has reportedly ditched Microsoft's Outlook for open-source email following a computer virus that caused a massive breakdown in communications.

The PMO has dumped Outlook Express for SquirrelMail, it has emerged, following an outage that saw emails go missing and unanswered during a three-month period last year.

Among the lost emails sent to India's PM were those of a retired air commodore.

In a hearing of the Indian Central Information Commission, the PMO's office admitted: "Many mails reportedly sent were not received in the Outlook Express and subsequently the Outlook Express was discontinued and the SquirrelMail was used."

SquirrelMail is a PHP program that renders in HTML 4.0 and supports IMAP and SMTP. Started in 1999, SquirrelMail is licensed under the GNU General Public License.

While the migration from Outlook Express to open-source is a black eye for Microsoft, it does beg the question why it took so long for the problem to be detected - unless, of course, the Indian PM isn't actually using email and the account is for show.

As one observer put it: "WTF and WTS (What the Satyam!). It took the Government techies so much time to realize that the email system of the most powerful man in India was not working properly for 3 months!"

Thanks to friend of the Reg Techgoss for flagging this one up. ®

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