Thursday 01 March 2007

The Binaries Of Life And Technology

Earlier this year Microsoft finally released the long-awaited computer operating system Windows Vista. With an installation base of more than 90% of all personal computers worldwide, this upgrade constitutes the largest consumer-based computer software implementation in history. Few companies, if any, in the technology industry enjoy the monopolistic dominance which Microsoft has in the computer software business. While companies that are in a position as Microsoft is in undoubtedly deliver innovative products to the benefits of consumers, the lack of competitions also means that consumers are left with little or no choice in what they can use. At a time when our daily lives are so intertwined with technology, most of which are dependent on software such as that made by Microsoft, it is frightening to speculate on the consequences of this dependency if a major breakdown ever occurs in the software on which our technology depends. Moreover, when there is only a single source or provider (Microsoft or otherwise) of the software that drives all of our technology, the risk of a breakdown and the magnitude of its consequences on our living are doubly increased. More than ever does our way of lives depend so readily on some binary strings of 1’s and 0’s in a computer program, written to serve a purpose larger than it is originally made to do.

By Philip Jong • At 12:01 AM • Under Column • Under Tech • Under World
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