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October 13, 2004 12:58 AM

Broken: Making software global

Brian Johnson points us to this recent CNET article, which talks about several Microsoft products that were recalled, or otherwise caused problems, because they were not properly changed for users outside America:

[C]hanting of the Koran [was] used as a soundtrack for a computer game and led to great offence to the Saudi Arabia government. The company later issued a new version of the game without the chanting, while keeping the previous editions in circulation because U.S. staff thought the slip wouldn't be spotted, but the Saudi government banned the game and demanded an apology.
To Microsoft's credit, it was a Microsoft executive who listed these errors during a speech to the International Geographical Union congress in Glasgow. And they're making an effort to improve.


For what it's worth, Nintendo had to change one of the background tunes in Zelda: Ocarina of Time for the same reason!

Posted by: codeman38 at October 13, 2004 10:53 AM

Win 95 had that really cool scrolling map that hilighted countries when you picked a time zone. However, they didn't draw the borders the way some countries wanted (eg India/Pakistan) and those governments complained until MS changed the graphic.

Posted by: Jacques Troux at October 13, 2004 05:25 PM

Uh, Jacques, isn't that exactly what the article is about? ;)

Posted by: Shadyman at December 22, 2004 01:17 AM

at least they made the effort

Posted by: c at January 16, 2005 09:19 PM

My favorite part is when it asks woman, "are you man or bitch."

Posted by: Rick at May 25, 2005 08:23 PM

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