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Microsoft`s monopoly and its consequences
DECEMBER 28, 2013 05:59  
Celebrities are not the only ones with fanatic fans. The information and communication industry also has numerous fanatic fans or anti-fans of particular companies or products. Several years ago, U.S. business magazine Forbes ran an article on top-five fanatic fans in the industry. From top to down on the list, they are fanatic fans of Apple, anti-fans of Microsoft, anti-fans of Google, fanatic fans of Linux and those of Firefox. For example, Apple buffs have unconditional love for Apple products whose names begin with an "i" (such as the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad).

Surprisingly, the second, fourth and fifth hugest anti-fans all hate Microsoft. No doubt, Microsoft anti-fans hate the Windows operation systems for frequent errors. The Linux fanatics oppose the Windows operating systems` monopoly and support the Linux operating system, which is freely available on the Internet. They are believers in open source software. Firefox fans refuse to accept the monopoly of Microsoft`s Internet Explorer web browser and support Firefox, a substitute for the Microsoft product.

Microsoft has a particularly high share in the Korean market. Windows has an 89.5 percent market share of the global operating systems for personal computers but has 97.7 percent in Korea. The U.S. software giant plans to end its support and updates for Windows XP on April 8, 2014. There will no longer be patches for faults in Windows XP, leaving more than eight million personal computers in Korea vulnerable to security threats. Domestic and overseas hackers are reportedly looking forward to the "D-day" of April 8. Thefts and leakages of personal information and corporate secrets will likely surge on the day.

In order to avoid the catastrophe, individual and corporate users have to replace their operating systems. However, the Windows 8, Microsoft`s latest operating system, is priced at 172,000 won (167 U.S. dollars) for general users and 75,000 won (71 dollars) for students. In addition, the Windows XP requires the computer`s central processing unit to be 300MHz or higher, while the Windows 8 requires at least 1GHz. As many Windows XP users will have to get a new computer to be able to use the latest operating system, computer manufacturers are grinning behind them. Had Microsoft not been in such a monopolistic status, it would not have made such a decision that would hugely impact local computer users.

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