Articles, stories and opinion pieces on open source that do not necessarily reflect the official position of the NZOSS.

All opinions are the authors own.

Jon "maddog" Hall on IBM, Red Hat and Free Software

For those of you that might have missed it, Jon "maddog" Hall has penned a piece on the IBM, Red Hat and Free Software discussions going on around the place. There is a fair bit of history in there which is pertinent to me... I had the pleasure of meeting Jon at a Linux Conf back in the day when I worked at IBM NZ. Very nice guy and understood the challenges we were all facing at the time.

European Commission opens investigation into anticompetitive practices by Microsoft

"It's deja-vu all over again"... Yes, it's official, Microsoft are being investigated for anticompetitive practices, again. This time over their bundling of products into their collaborative-in-name-only Teams offering. It's happened before and they've been convicted before but unlike IBM, who operated under a consent decree that lasted 45 YEARS, Microsofts punishment was very much a slap on the wrist effort.

French Government thoughts on the use of US Cloud based software in Education

This article (in French) appeared on my timeline with the implication that the use of MS Office and Google Docs was illegal in schools as they don't follow GDPR...

Turns out (with the ironical caveat that I used Google Translate) the response was a bit more circumspect than that... as in not quite illegal but 'deals' like that offered by US Cloud services should certainly be scrutinised for full compliance with local laws.

VSCode is designed to fracture

Another interesting read outlining some of the issues we face in our day to day choices in the IT sector. I'm not a developer and can't comment on the usability of the products in question however it has been noted that the original mantra of Microsoft of "Embrace, Extend, Extinguish" is still a core tenet of their business model. In this case the enabler is the end-to-end control of an entire development infrastructure.

Give the Visual Studio Code article by Geoff Huntley a full read and ponder your options... online again for 2022

A reminder that linuxconf 2022 is coming up on the 14th, 15th and 16th of January. Unfortunately, thanks to some Global Pandemic that you may have heard about recently, this years conference is a mere shadow of its former self. Still has some pretty good speakers and staying fairly true to its origins as a grassroots driven technical conference though. Personally I really miss the IRL aspects of this conference though so here's hoping that we can get back to that in the near future. Details, times and tickets at

Thoughts on the sponsored Microsoft article in NZ Herald

A "Sponsored Story" has appeared in the NZ Herald written by Microsoft and touting how their new datacentre 'could' drive 'billions of euros worth of investment' and create 'thousands of new jobs'. It has received a lot of positive feedback on LinkedIn(1) of course. While I applaud investment in New Zealand I don't think these claims stand up to very much scrutiny for the following reasons.

Reasons to avoid a proprietary monoculture #3

A zdnet report on the Azure AD outage in mid march... Pretty ho-hum you might think... normal cloud/IT problems. The real issue with this which people don't seem to understand is that nearly all New Zealand Government public service agencies are in a headlong rush to run everything in Azure and as a result of this outage were unable to function... Couldn't log in, no Teams, no email, no documents, no calendar and of course, no contingency plan. A significant part of the New Zealand Government, dead in the water and relying on a single US multinational to get it going again.