Russian MPs concerned over Apple's stranglehold

Special app on IPad allows deputies to view documents and comment on their colleagues' proposals. Source: Kommersant

Special app on IPad allows deputies to view documents and comment on their colleagues' proposals. Source: Kommersant

Members of the State Duma are complaining about being prevented from using Android gadgets for work.

State Duma deputies are outraged with the executive office of the lower chamber virtually compelling them to use Apple tablets and phones. The dumasoft application released by the State Duma's executive office to streamline the work of the deputies can only be downloaded to iPhones or iPads, with no Android version available for mobile device users. A few MPs wrote a request addressed to Speaker Sergei Naryshkin asking him to deal with this inconvenience.

“Dumasoft does not support the Android operating system, while not all deputies are willing to buy iPhones and iPads,” a co-author of the request told Izvestia.

The new software was deployed in the autumn of 2012, as Speaker Sergei Naryshkin personally insisted that MPs needed to have the ability to work anywhere where there is an Internet connection. The application actually allows deputies to view documents and correspondence, alter bills and comment on their colleagues' proposals.

Deputy head of the State Duma executive office Yury Shuvalov confirmed that the administration of the lower chamber was fully aware of the problem and was looking for ways to solve it.

“We will certainly issue apps for other operating systems. I think this could be expected before the end of the year,” he announced.

Apple devices are traditionally the choice of the well-to-do, Editor-in-Chief of Hacker magazine Nikita Kislitsin said. Thus it is no surprise that the State Duma executive office did not expect any opposition to the gadgets from the MPs, whose average annual income hovers at 2 million roubles per person.

Furthermore, the State Duma thought that it could go easy on software developers in this case, an expert in Internet technologies, Ilya Knopov, added.

“Apple has just one platform for which new apps can be developed. It's more complicated in the case of Android, so the development would cost more,” Knopov explained.

First published in Russian in Izvestia.

All rights reserved by Rossiyskaya Gazeta.

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