Microsoft’s Cultural Blunders

June 14th, 2006 | by Mike |


CNet has an article up today recounting a speech by Microsoft’s own Tom Edwards, who is the head of their geopolitical strategy team, made on the different little mistakes Microsoft has done that have pissed off a section of the world. For instance Microsoft lost millions when they had to pull back some 200,000 copies of Windows 95 because a section of India (only eight pixels) were colored differently than the rest. The Indian government didn’t like that Microsoft was pointing out the disputed Kashmiri territory and got pissed and, I don’t know…held back the export of Quickie Mart employees and Microsoft had to pull it all back and fix it.

There are more examples of Microsoft missteps, like included a track of people reading the Koran in the soundtrack for a video game or when, in another game, they included Muslim warriors turning churches into mosques. But my personal favorite Microsoft cultural blunder is this one:

Microsoft has also managed to upset women and entire countries. A Spanish-language version of Windows XP, destined for Latin American markets, asked users to select their gender between “not specified,” “male” or “bitch,” because of an unfortunate error in translation.

I can just picture is some old Mexican lady starting up her Windows XP machine (She got it as a gift or something ok!) and when it asks her for her gender she graps her chest and yells out “¡Dios mio!”

The one cultural mishap they failed to mention was when Microsoft inflicted Windows ME upon the earth. Thats gotta be the worst one of all time right?

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