The end of Microsoft’s support for Windows XP has raised concerns about the possibility of large-scale security threats. The government is also closely monitoring the situation 24 hours a day to respond to any emergency.
Experts are saying that the government’s handling of the termination is incompetent and inept. Korea is still not ready for the end of support for Windows XP, as evidenced by the widespread use of the defunct operating system (OS) in local financial institutions and automated teller machines (ATMs).
But the biggest problem is that the country does not have its own OS, which means a continuation of the country’s OS dependence. Because of the nation’s heavy reliance on Microsoft Windows, all the government can do is to reduce Windows market share or to lower the price of Windows Update through negotiations whenever Microsoft discontinues its support for one version of its OS. If not, 24-hour security monitoring to prevent hacking is the best instrument for dealing with the problem.
In the past, the Korean government made an effort to develop an OS. Starting in the 1990s, Seoul led the effort to develop K-DOS and open source Linux-based operating system “Booyo.” Large businesses in Korea have also tried to develop an OS, but failed to commercialize it. Since then, more than 10 years have passed, and the termination of any Windows OS still carries a high business cost.
In early 2014, the government again decided to develop its own OS for the public sector, but has met with a cold response. The development of an OS is indeed difficult. In this period of IT imperialism, OS dependence is perhaps a very big and difficult issue, as in the case of national defense. However, it will be difficult for Korea to clean up its reputation as a powerful nation in the IT sector unless the nation successfully develops an OS of its own.