Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

How 8 pixels cost Microsoft millions

An interesting and slightly amusing article on news.com details problems that Microsoft has had with its products in foreign markets. Certain minor errors or misunderstandings have lead to their products being banned in various countries after they offended the authorities. The article lists some of the blunders, which in brief are:

  • Microsoft marked a part of Kashmir which was 8 pixels in size as not being a part of Indian territory, leading to the recall 200,000 copies of Windows 95 in India
  • A computer game which used the chanting of the Koran, the Muslim holy text, as background music, offended the authorities in Saudi Arabia
  • A Spanish version of Windows XP asked users to select their gender from ‘not specified’, ‘male’ and ‘bitch’, due to an error in translation

The article goes into more detail, but it shows even the biggest of companies can make the biggest of slip-ups.

On a somewhat related note, news.com now accepts trackback pings in its articles. An interesting move.

4 Comments

  1. On a somewhat related note, news.com now accepts trackback pings in its articles. An interesting move.
    Interesting, but not very useful, as they do not provide a list of the sites that have pinged the article.

  2. Well, not yet they don’t… They may be gathering research to see how many people use it or something.

  3. God that made me laugh!

  4. Yes, News.com is experimenting with Trackback and Pingback both. Stay tuned.