Windows' Boll Weevil problem

Besides being prone to security problems, Windows has another problem: It's used everywhere.

You don't have to be a security expert to know that Windows and its software have serious security problems. It seems that no sooner than Microsoft fixes some holes then more are revealed. Part of that is because Windows is insecure by design. But, another part of it is that Windows is much too popular for its own good.

Windows defenders like to claim that all other operating systems would have just as much trouble if they were as popular as desktop Windows is. They're wrong of course. Windows was designed as a single user operating system and to make it easy for applications to share data. That single-user, no IPC (interprocess communication) DNA remains in Windows to this day. That said, they do have a point, which is why I like to say that Windows has a "Boll Weevil" problem.

Now, what the heck do I mean by that? Get ready for a little history lesson. After the Civil War, the U.S. South became more dependent on cotton production then ever. To make any money in the South in the late 19th century you probably did it by raising cotton.

Then, starting in the mid 1890s, "Mr. Boll Weevil" arrived and almost completely destroyed the cotton crop and the South's economy along with it. With only one cash crop, this bug destroyed not only crops but hundreds of thousands of people's livelihoods.

Windows is the 21st century money-making mono-crop. When your earnings depend on one fragile system--whether it's Windows running all your computers or one cash crop--you're always one devastating bug away from disaster.

The bugs in Windows, however, can be more insidious. The biggest cloud computing networks, you see, aren't run by companies; they're run by criminals running botnets. And what do these millions of botnet infected PCs run? Windows of course.

If you visit Enterprise, Alabama you'll find a monument to the boll weevil. Why did they put up a monument to a bug that wrecked their economy? They did it because the boll weevil disaster forced the South to diversify its economy. After all the pain and suffering, the South's economy emerged stronger than ever once it stopped depending upon a single crop.

Hopefully, it won't take a similarly-sized financial disaster to get people to kick their dependence on Windows.

What’s wrong? The new clean desk test
Join the discussion
Be the first to comment on this article. Our Commenting Policies