Windows Vista Incompatible With Korea?

    January 24, 2007

On January 31, Windows Vista will hit the shelves in Korea. Microsoft’s latest operating system, however, may leave many Korean users unable to reach many of their favorite web destinations.

Korean gaming sites, online portals, digital marketplaces, and even banks will be initially unreachable by users upgrading to Windows Vista.

On Tuesday, major government agencies such as the Ministry of Information and Communication, the Ministry of Government Administration and Home Affairs, and the Financial Supervisory Service all issued warnings to Korean users about the upcoming incompatibilities and other issues that may accompany Microsoft’s new OS offering.

The prevailing issue is that Vista doesn’t interact very will with Active-X, a programming structure that is commonly used throughout many Korean-based websites. With little to no support for Active-X, everyday websites that Korean users visit for tasks such as banking, stock trading, and shopping simply won’t be accessible.

This Digital Chosunibo article has more on ways that Korean sites are working to address the incompatibility concerns:

Internet portals are also trying to deal with the issue. An official from NHN, a major Korean portal, said, “We are working on our online payment system to adapt it to Vista, but we’re not sure if we can finish the task by the end of January.” Daum and Nate are also adjusting their systems but don’t expect to be Vista-ready until mid-February.

Online shopping malls are scrambling, too. Melon, SK Telecom’s music downloading service, says it won’t be able to solve the problem until March. Hmall, an Internet shopping mall, and Yes24, an online bookstore, hope to have things in order in February. GS e-Shop and GS e-Store are also working to accommodate Vista-installed PCs.

Even with these major interoperability concerns still on the table, Microsoft has still declined to postpone the release date of Vista to Korean users.

Korean government officials have encouraged users to delay upgrading their PCs to the new operating system until the issues with Active-X have been addressed, or at the very least to check with service providers to receive specific documentation on what potential issues a Vista installation could present.

It will be worth noting what immediate ramifications, if any, a widespread upgrade to Vista will have on Korean online businesses and financial institutions.

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Joe is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest ebusiness news.