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Microsoft loves Linux. NBN Co? Not so much

In 2018, even a company like Microsoft, which once described Linux as a cancer, has no problem dealing with the open source operating system. But NBN Co, the company rolling out Australia's national broadband network, appears to have issues.

For Monday's half-yearly results, anyone who attempted to join the webcast using Linux would have found a disconcerting message confronting them.

The message read: "We have detected that your operating system does not meet the optimal webinar specifications for listening to and/or viewing webinars.

"We recommend the following operating systems:Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, and the latest Mac OS X.

"Please note that users with older versions of Windows (Windows Vista, XP, 2000, Windows NT 4.0, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows 95), Mac, Linux and Unix operating systems may experience difficulties listening to and/or viewing webinars."

Apart from a PC and a laptop both of which run Debian GNU/Linux, I have an old Mac lying around. But on trying to connect using that, I discovered that NBN Co only likes the new, shiny Macs.

From the start of the NBN rollout, NBN Co has provided enough evidence to show that it is somewhat backward when it comes to communication. That its webcast cannot be viewed on a Linux system just underlines that.

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Sam Varghese

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.