back to article South Korea to NUKE Microsoft ActiveX

South Korea may have the world's best broadband, a vivid gaming culture and, in Samsung and LG, two very influential technology giants. But it also has one the world's weirdest online payment regimes because of its decision to mandate the obscure SEED cipher to secure online transactions. SEED doesn't play nice with SSL, but …

  1. Anonymous Coward

    If you thought the browser wars didn't really matter...

    Microsoft's illegal monopoly tactics rear their ugly head again. South Koreans used to have a choice between Netscape and IE. From "the cost of monoculture" on Gen Kanai's Mozilla blog:

    "In the early years of SEED, users downloaded the SEED plugin to their IE or Netscape browsers, either an Active X control or a NSplugin, which was then tied to a certificate issued by a Korean government certificate authority. (Can you see where this is going?) When Netscape lost the browser war, the NSplugin fell out of use and for years, S. Korean users have only had an Active X control with the SEED cipher to do their online banking or commerce or government."

    South Korean taxpayers are now left footing the bill for this ridiculous situation.

    1. dogged

      Re: If you thought the browser wars didn't really matter...

      Oh come on. Netscape lost because it was a) much more expensive than "free" and b) it became increasingly shit as the iterations went on. Communicator was dire.

      Had the Korean government bothered to support Mozilla when it arrived, they wouldn't be in this hole.

      1. Richard Plinston

        Re: If you thought the browser wars didn't really matter...

        > Oh come on. Netscape lost because it was a) much more expensive than "free"

        Netscape was available for free to most users. Businesses were expected to pay for it. Many Windows OEMs loaded Netscape, along with other software, onto their machine - until Microsoft gave an extra $5 discount for _not_ loading it.

        IE was 'free' at Spyglass's expense. When Microsoft asked Spyglass to write a browser for them (which became IE) they were to be paid for doing so by a cut of $5 for every copy _sold_. By giving it away for 'free' (though it was part of the price for Windows) they avoided paying Spyglass. Spyglass sued and won a small settlement but had meanwhile gone broke.

        Microsoft kills their 'partners' as well as their competition.

        > and b) it became increasingly shit as the iterations went on. Communicator was dire.

        Microsoft paid sites to incorporate incompatibilities into their pages. They bought Frontpage and then 'enhanced' it to produce Microsoftisms that only worked well in IE. It wasn't Netscape that went 'shit' it was web sites. Now users are paying for that by being still locked into old versions of IE.

        1. dogged

          Re: If you thought the browser wars didn't really matter...

          > Microsoft paid sites to incorporate incompatibilities into their pages

          [citation needed]

          And yes, business had to pay for Netscape buy not for IE do corporates coded for IE. Not rocket surgery and why Netscape lost. Also it was shit.

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Microsoft not to blame for once

      The fault lies squarely with the export restrictions that the US government placed in the 1990s which prohibited browsers being shipped to places like South Korea with strong encryption. Where encryption was required then plugins were the only way and Active X, for better or worse, was better integrated than most.

      Yes, the export restrictions were lifted a few years ago but, as we all know, it takes a concerted effort to overcome the inertia of replacing existing systems. Often laws, accompanied by generous subsidies, are the only way to initiate change.

  2. Christian Berger

    This is why you should never get proprietary standards

    You will always find yourself in a dead end having to re-implement everything again.

    Keep that in mind when installing proprietary telephones, or proprietary streaming services or proprietary operating systems.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "proprietary standards"

      An oxymoron, Shirley?

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: "proprietary standards"

        He just missed the 'scare quotes' around 'standards'.

        There are such things as proprietary standards/specifications though:

        A company publishes an interoperability specification which others can use, perhaps even royalty-free, but the company retains full control over it.

        Most APIs are like that.

      2. Anonymous Coward

        Re: "proprietary standards"

        "proprietary standards"

        An oxymoron, Shirley?

        Yup, curse those Compact Discs that only work on Sony / Philips hardware.

  3. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Out of the frying pan into the fire

    If it's another client-side encryption solution then it's got to be Java given that NPAPI has been made worthless by Google's efforts.

  4. W. Anderson

    Korea without any vision

    The South Koreans, like many other governments and much of USA was enamored with Microsoft and willing to pay any price for it's proprietary technology, which was better quality in the 1990s than that of competitors.

    However when it became abundantly clear in all areas of expert technolog in twenty first century that the way forward was undoubtly with Open, Internet Standards and Free/Open Source Software (FOSS) like GNU/Linux, BSD Networking Stack , platform agnostic browsers and all the other incredible technologies that were not only far superior in Quality/Reliability, Flexibility, Scalability and robust Security, but offered a better value/Return on Investment (ROI).

    The only holdouts today are the Microsoft supporting die-hards and obedient minions like parts of India, and Korea with Active-X and Windows XP use to last minute. Fortunately for many other jurisdictions around the world that were not and are not Microsoft worshippers unable to wean themselves from the dazzle of Redmond, the moves to Open Internet Standards and FOSS have proven immeasurably beneficial in saving hundreds of millions, even billions of equivalent in dollars in best technologies adoption while also reaping stupendous benefits of incredibly higher quality technolog solutions.

    Microsoft is not responsible, nor should they be for the blind willingly being led into a sink hole.

  5. s. pam

    Can we get them to NUKE FLASH while they're at it?

    In the name of things deserving to DIE DIE DIE, please fucking kill off Adobe Flash whilst you're at it South Korea.

    Extra Kim Yum Yum points if you do!

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