m a r k a n d e y a

Korea’s Software Monoculture

Posted by Brian on February 6, 2007

Via Salon, Gen Kanai writes about the degree to which Korea is enthralled to Microsoft software and the problems this poses for Korean industries as well as computer users who would like to buck the MS trend and use a different system (from Macs to Linux).

There’s a lot of computer jargon that flies right over my head, but the gist of the issue is that from the very beginnings of Korea’s computer and internet culture, everything has been coded and designed specifically to MS standards rather than to a more practical open-standards model (which is how things developed in the states due to competing operating systems and web browsers). Because of this, the movement towards open standards and less MS dominance in the computer world, a movement well under way in the west, can barely stay alive in Korea. Everythin is first and foremost MS compatible, and any Korean computer user who dares to run a different OS or browser will have some signficant problems.

That’s his take o nthe matter. But some readers in his comments section disagree, saying that Korea’s single-minded efforts at getting plugged in and wired up the MS way without worrying about catering to niche markets has allowed them to advance at a greater speed they would never have been a ble to do otherwise. That’s the other side.

I claim no special PC know-how so I’m not sure who is right or wrong, but it is an interesting discussion.


2 Responses to “Korea’s Software Monoculture”

  1. Gen Kanai said

    Hi Brian, thank you for the link.

    One of the unintended consequences of Korea’s situation is that Korean Internet users are most at risk to viruses, and other malware and the other negatives of the Internet.

    That is a significant cost to the user, to Korean businesses, and anyone else who depends on a computer for work, business, etc.

    It’s interesting to see the comments from users who believe that Korea’s choices were strategic. I do not see any evidence to support that.

  2. Brian said

    Well, it was an interesting article that I thought was worth sharing. Thank you for your reply.


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