13 October 2006

There's Monoculture, and There's Monoculture

Here's eWeek all breathless:

If the plan is perfectly executed, Nicholas Negroponte's One Laptop Per Child project will deploy 100 million laptops in the first year. In one fell swoop, the nonprofit organization will create the largest computing monoculture in history.

Well, that depends how you define monoculture.

Yes, if you mean exactly the same machine; but definitely not, if you mean effectively the same environment. The honour of mega monoculture certainly belongs to Microsoft Windows, in all its later incarnations. Each has offered what is basically the same lush virtual mulch to several million crackers: the operating system, Internet Explorer and Outlook. What more do you need? As the unrelenting attacks based on just these elements show, you certainly don't need to have identical systems to succeed in sowing mayhem. (Via Techmeme.)

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