January 26, 2005 8:05 PM PST
MapPoint users in for long and winding road
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How eight pixels cost Microsoft millionsAugust 19, 2004
A bug in Microsoft's MapPoint software sends those looking to travel between two Norwegian cities on a trip across much of Western Europe. The suggested quickest route between Haugesund and Trondheim is a 1,685-mile journey through Belgium, England, France, Germany and Sweden to make the journey. With two trips across the ocean and a fair bit of overland travel, the site estimates the journey will take some 47 hours and 31 minutes.
"I'm sorry about this, lots of people have reported this bug to the team and they are working on a fix," Scoble said on his blog. "I hear it'll come in February."
Although Microsoft is a very worldly company with offices across the globe, the world's largest software maker has been known to occasionally make a geographic error. In the original version of Windows 95, the world clock function showed only a portion of the disputed Kashmir region as being a part of India and the government threatened a ban. Microsoft recalled 200,000 copies, costing the company millions of dollars.
Because of a translation error, a version of Windows XP aimed at Latin American markets asked users to select their gender between "not specified," "male" or "bitch." In another case, Microsoft used chanting of the Koran as background music for a computer game, prompting the Saudi Arabian government to ban the game.
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