Geography Errors In Software

Microsoft pays dear for insults through ignorance:

Insensitive computer programmers with little knowledge of geography have cost the giant Microsoft company hundreds of millions of dollars in lost business and led hapless company employees to be arrested by offended governments…
The company has now launched geography classes for its staff to avoid further bloomers which have caused embarrassment and cost money on a grand scale.

Two of their blunders:

  • …one of the most expensive, errors was a colour-coded world map showing time zones, which showed the disputed Jammu-Kashmir region as not being in India – an offence under Indian law. The mistake led to the whole of the Windows 95 operating system being banned in the country, losing large sales.
  • The Spanish version of Windows used the word Hembra – meaning “woman” in Spain – for choosing gender. But in some Central American republics, notably Nicaragua, the word is an insult meaning “bitch”. The programme was changed.

Microsoft is being pointed out because of its ubiquity, but I suspect lack of geography knowledge is wide-spread.