VSCode also downloads code from MicroSoft servers during the build process and won't build without an Internet connection. I'm pretty sure someone had forked VSCode like ungoogled-chromium but I can't find the repository.
This article is similarly alarmist with some stupid click bait title suggesting that you are too stupid to read the documentation that comes with VS Code which points all of this out but somehow smart enough to read the genius bit of journalism that uncovered this terrible truth.
Just checkout what vscodium actually modifies. There are a few small diffs to disable telemetry and take out branding and a few other things.
But this is hardly some secret plot by MS to do something evil. It's a nice product provided to you by free by MS that is almost entirely open source. Yes it has a bit of branding and a bit of telemetry, which is presumably there to help them improve the product.
If the handful of stuff in there that isn't OSS bothers you for whatever reason, you can indeed build from source and take these things out like vscodium seems to be doing. You'd be well in your rights to do that. And it's very relevant for e.g. linux distributions like Debian or OSS purists.
Tangentially, this is one of my gripes with stuff like flathub/snapstore since they are hybrid stores of both free and non-free software. In the traditional model, you can trust your debian/fedora maintainers to have strict standards for anything that gets to the base system. Now, with more and more distros enabling snap/flatpak by default, it dilutes that guarantee. Perhaps snap/flatpak ought to adopt a granular free/non-free distinction like repos.
Why, you are even forbidden to reverse engineer or hack the binary so it is the total opposite of free software.
Any idea why would they put this limitations on the binaries? What does MS gains for this ?
Just the same reason that the chrome binary isn't open source. Though MS doesn't make it's money on personal information, so the telemetry part is much more restricted.
Are you saying that Microsoft is collecting less information than Google would in the same situation? I find that very hard to believe looking at Microsoft's history. Do you have anything to back it up? The only comparison I can come up with is Windows 10 versus ChromeOS.
"We generate revenues primarily by delivering relevant, cost-effective online advertising."
For the quarter ending June 2018, google advertising revenues were $28,087 million, out of $32,657 million total. That's 86% of their total revenue, for those keeping score at home.
Here's the relevant section of Microsoft's financial statement for the same time period. Advertising revenue is $6,100 million, out of $36,400 million. That's 17%. Microsoft doesn't even include the figure as a sub-line item, because their money makers are Azure and Office 365.
I understand that MS has a history of being the great opponent to software freedom. I understand that they've made moves that are anti-developer, and anti-customer in some ways. But their business model has never been based on collecting information. It was based on selling licenses, and now it's based on paid PaaS and SaaS.
With that in mind: it's hard to compare giant, decades-old corporations like this. We will inevitably come up with an incomplete list of anti-privacy things that both have done. But the profit motive lines up pretty clearly here.
But because I can't resist... google privacy issues have a wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Privacy_concerns_regarding_Goo... . There is no analogous page about Microsoft privacy issues.
The Open Source Definition was adapted from the Debian Free Software Guidelines, which the FSF approves of.
According to gnu.org: "The two terms describe almost the same category of software" (https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/open-source-misses-the-point....).
Even if the source was GPL, if Microsoft own it, they can do whatever the hell they like with it.
 own or own enough rights. Before any PRs are accepted, you need to sign the CLA https://github.com/Microsoft/vscode/wiki/Contributor-License...
It's funny to see people say how "light" VSCode is when they use it as a glorified notepad for a few days. Then they install more and more extensions and then slowly VS Code evolves into Visual Studio.
I don’t code all day, so it’s a good drop in editor that doesn’t require paying a license, but has more functionality than vim.
This can drive privacy concerned people to use the product because they (wrongly) think it's open source and fully community reviewed.