We worked hard, we nearly made it but Microsoft seems to have won this battle.

We, at the NHoS team, worked hard to create an Ubuntu based replacement for Windows for the National Health Service in UK:

But unfortunately it has been used only as an excuse to get a discount from Microsoft:

Talks to get permission to use a brand similar to NHS were there but now they got the discount we are not useful anymore apparently.
We'll fight on.

@paolo I am sorry to read this. Bloody Microsoft. Studpid NHS. I even do not buy Parodontax toothpaste anymore, because it is made by GlaxoSmith now and this company works together with Google's DeepMind in healthcare.

@paolo Apparently Microsoft is more aggressive now. In Munich public admin went from opensource to Microsoft. The company now wants to encrypt Skype, finally. Phew. We use Wire, facetime and Telegram instead.

@KeaW @paolo I used to live in Reading, England (before moving to Ipswich); MS UK have a whole headquarters still there (I thought it had downsized loads or closed) - I was curious as to what exactly they now did as most of the engineering and support work seems to be in SE/East Asia where staff costs are lower, and it looks like the whole of the Reading campus is mostly devoted to sales. marketing and lobbying now, and according to glassdoor they are still very choosy about who they hire!

@vfrmedia No idea what they are doing, I didn't even know they got rid of the support team.

It just more evidence that we should stop giving them money and develop alternatives.


@paolo Really sorry to hear that, this project sounded so promising. Awful treatment.

@cbowdon The issue is it actually works and hospitals that tested it, in secret, were enthusiastic of it.

@paolo Glad to hear it. One of the perennial “don’t leave MS” arguments is that people won’t like the unfamiliar new world. But this shows that’s not the case. Shame the decision makers have been so awful to you.

@paolo TBH I thought the NHoS branding was a mistake as it made it seem the distro was *only* for fully funded NHS organisations.

There are many other healthcare orgs only part funded, do not use NHS branding but *could* make use of FOSS systems; although these will have to integrate with the "NHSnet Office 365" (more so than smartcards), and other items like compatibility with MFD (printer/ scanners) are equally important (that is a showstopper that has twice prevented me Linux at work)

@vfrmedia There have been talks about the branding which would have been owned by them.

Card readers, legacy platforms & devices have been worked on and most issues have been solved. NHoS could be ready for general admin use & has been developed with nearly zero budget.

Just imagine what we could do with a 1/100th of what they spend for Windows & Office licences.

NHSMail is based on hosted Exchange not Office365. Even there we could reduce the costs to a quarter at least

@paolo there is definitely a custom setup of Office 365 they have bee trying to use for some time sending data at OFFICIAL classification *outside* NHS sites, the care managers here keep getting told about it, but how to get certified to use it is not at all clear (to the point analogue faxes still get used instead!) But to be fair O365 *does* work on Ubuntu, I tested it.

Is the whole OS project simply going to be abandoned or would it be made available for other healthcare organisations?

@vfrmedia I had a look at the NHSMail2 tender won by Accenture (£10M?) as we could have participated at least from the infrastructure side using something a lot more efficient than Exchange.

The whole NHoS project is on GitHub for all to use and contribute. Is not dead but now we'll have all "interested" parties watching us to stop us from extending trials so we'll focus on other things for the moment.

@paolo That's sadmaking. A year ago I was wondering whether I should do development on NHSbuntu, but I knew that it would also come with a titanic amount of turgid national politics.

This looks like the usual story of bureaucratic blocking and Microsoft shenanigans. I'm sure that the health service will be continuing to help keep Bill Gates retain his position in the top ten list of oligarchs.

If anyone is interested in these types of institutional organisation systems it might be better to work on GNU Health instead.
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