[Talk] Re: [Linux-aus] Chilling effect?

Con Zymaris conz at cyber.com.au
Tue Feb 24 14:20:48 EST 2004

On Tue, Feb 24, 2004 at 11:07:21AM +0800, Leon Brooks wrote:
> Recently, a denizen of the PLUG mailing list asked the National 
> Australia Bank why they don't support Mozilla. NAB's reply amounted to 
> "because it's Open Source" and they have so far refused to explain how 
> this has any bearing on their policy.

There's nothing new here. They weren't supporting Netscape or Opera either 
in recent times, and it has nothing to do with them being FOSS (they're 

> Yesterday, I had a discussion with a fellow FOSS advocate in which he 
> related to me that three of his customers (one Government department 
> and two over-$100M/a corporations) have recently said, point blank, 
> that they now have a policy of no Open Source at all, and that such 
> Open Source applications and/or operating systems as existed in the 
> company were to be promptly replaced.
> None of the three would explain why this was so, and said peer was not 
> in a situation to press them on the issue (read: many tens of thousands 
> of dollars' worth of work hanging in the balance in each case).
> Have any of you run across this kind of behaviour (or more of it) just 
> in the last month or two?
> Do any of you live on the other side of this question, and know of any 
> specific reason why these organisations might be doing this?

Nope. No idea at all.

It's almost certainly someone higher up with a specific agenda who sets
such a policy, only for it to be switched around in 2 years when that
person shifts jobs. Much the same happened with firms switching platforms
back and forth between Unix & Novell/Windows backends in past; viz
Telstra. There is no rhyme; there is no reason. It's people, it's 
whimsical and it's politics.

I wouldn't view this as being at all endemic and also wouldn't lose sleep 
over these. As with all things, you win some you lose some. We don't need 
to win them all to make a profound impact.

Con Zymaris <conz at cyber.com.au> Level 4, 10 Queen St, Melbourne, Australia 
Cybersource: Australia's Leading Linux and Open Source Solutions Company 
Web: http://www.cyber.com.au/  Phone: 03 9621 2377   Fax: 03 9621 2477

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