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Risks of a Computing Monoculture

A leading group of computer security scientists (Dan Geer, Rebecca
Bace, Peter Gutmann, Perry Metzger, John S. Quarterman, Charles Pfleeger, and Bruce
Schneier) have written a paper about the risks to society from a Microsoft-dominated computing monoculture.

Most of the world‚s computers run Microsoft‚s operating systems, thus most of the
world‚s computers are vulnerable to the same viruses and worms at the same time. The
only way to stop this is to avoid monoculture in computer operating systems, and for
reasons just as reasonable and obvious as avoiding monoculture in farming. Microsoft
exacerbates this problem via a wide range of practices that lock users to its platform.
The impact on security of this lock-in is real and endangers society.

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