Features in Microsoft’s new application are angering local portals

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Features in Microsoft’s new application are angering local portals

Microsoft’s upcoming service pack has the Internet industry on alert because it disables various contents such as instant messenger services that certain domestic portals have. The new service pack, which is an upgraded version of the Windows XP application for personal computers, is scheduled to be released next month. This version contains strict security functions and disables functions such as instant messenger windows or online games that require a pop-up window. Those who wish to use these functions must go through a process to release bans on the pop-up windows. Although domestic firms understand Microsoft’s initial purpose to strengthen security measures, they are worried that the upgraded application will damage their services. Industry insiders say that several companies are even considering taking legal measures, because the service pack does not affect Microsoft’s own MSN messenger program or homepage services. Those Internet firms that incorporate pop-up windows are the most worried. For instance, Cyworld, a popular mini-homepage service provided by Nate.com, recently tested its program on Microsoft’s new application and discovered that the system blocks access to Cyworld because the homepage is a pop-up window. The ban may be undone, but users must follow certain procedures that may be difficult for those who are unfamiliar with computer systems. Also, companies are worried that Web users will think that their sites are “bad” since they are banned. The service blocks programs that enable person-to-person links through firewalls. This endangers Korean instant messenger programs such as Sayclub, Buddy Buddy, and Nate On. It also blocks certain online games, since thousands of users can log on simultaneously. One positive feature for a user is that Microsoft’s service pack frees him from unwanted pop-up window advertisements and computer viruses. Internet businesses, however, are furious. “This will cause great changes in Internet environments, and yet Microsoft is carrying out these changes without any prior consultation with consumers or other industry members,” said Kwon Seung-hwan, an official at Nate.com. Microsoft, however, argues that in the long run, the service will be favorable for consumers. “Security was the most important factor in our upgraded service pack. It may be a bit uncomfortable at first, but we plan to deal with problems that arise after we release the product,” a Microsoft Korea official said. by Yoon Chang-hee

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