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India's Defence Ministry plans to replace Windows with its own Ubuntu-based Maya OS

The Indian flag in front of a blue sky

India is getting ready to make a major change in its Internet-connected computers in its critical Defence Ministry agency. A new report claims the agency will replace Windows inside all of its Internet-connected PCs with its own operating system.

The Indian Express reports that the country's Defence Ministry has been developing Maya OS as the replacement for Windows on its PCs. Maya OS is based on Ubuntu, which itself is based on Linux. The article states:

One of the main advantages of Maya OS is that it has a similar interface and functionality as Windows, making it easy for users to adapt to it. It also has a feature called Chakravyuh, which is an end-point anti-malware and antivirus software that creates a virtual layer between the user and the internet, blocking hackers from accessing sensitive data.

The article claims the reason that the Defence Ministry is moving away from Windows is due to fears of cyberattacks on the OS. The country has already dealt with major hacker events over the past few years, including including one on a nuclear power plant in 2019. The agency feels Windows has a large number of malware threats, while Ubuntu attacks are rare.

The article adds:

A team of experts from various government agencies worked on Maya OS for six months, according to sources. The team also collaborated with Indian software companies and academic institutions to test and improve the OS. The OS has been vetted by the three Services – the Navy has already cleared it and the Army and the Air Force are currently evaluating it.

The plan currently is to replace Windows with the new Maya OS in the agency's Internet-connected PCs in the country's South Block by August 15. The Maya OS will be available for all other regions of the Defence Ministry by the end of 2023.

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