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Changing NZ Desktop Stack to FLOSS

Time:13:30 - 14:15
Day:Wednesday 20 January 2010
Location:Main Auditorium (MFC)
Project: Public Sector Remix

The NZ Open Source Society has been involved in many successful initiatives over the last few years. We were instrumental in helping Standards NZ evaluate the proposed document standard, OOXML which they rejected, we have been at the forefront of campaigns over patents, copyright, trade agreements as well as providing day to day encouragement to those who chose to make use of the advantages that FLOSS provide.

However, right now the NZOSS is involved in its most ambitious project yet. Following hard in the heels of the Government's failure to conclude a three year deal with Microsoft the NZOSS is running a pilot trial with a significant number of central and local Government agencies. These include New Zealand Post and the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

The motivation of the project is as follows:

"Free software offers a desktop operating system and range of applications that can support many of the business functions of public administration. A FLOSS desktop offers reduced cost of ownership, increased flexibility, and enhanced staff productivity. Government agencies are able to acquire, install and evaluate free software to test these claims within their current IT systems environments."

The pilot will be run in an open and collaborative fashion to maximise the benefits across agencies and within the wider business community.

By the time of LCA2010 the project will have delivered some significant outputs that will allow agencies to to make an informed decision on whether to adopt a FLOSS desktop and proceed to full agency-wide deployment. They will be ready to prepare a suitable RFP for implementation and support services.

I propose to present these results and share lessons from the running of the project with fellow LCA delegates.

Press Release:

Press Coverage:

Don Christie

This presentation will be made by Don Christie, a Director of
Wellington-based Catalyst IT Ltd ( also President of the NZOSS (

As one of the founders of what is now New Zealand’s largest open source solutions provider, Don is one of the first people to build a truly viable and successful commercial model in New Zealand around open source software and has managed to build his company to almost 100 employees.

He may not code any more but as strong advocate for FLOSS Don is still able to help maintain and sustain the free software community. Mostly though, he acknowledges those who have and still do open his eyes to the benefits and rational philosophy that underpins the success and attractiveness of "free".