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Microsoft Blunder again...

VileReynard
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Microsoft Blunder again...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8221896.stm
Microsoft in web photo racism row

The US original (top) and the altered Polish version (bottom)

Software giant Microsoft has apologised for editing a photo to change a black man's head to that of a white man.
The picture, showing employees sitting around a desk, appeared unaltered on the firm's US website.
But on the website of its Polish business unit the black man's head was replaced with a white face, although the colour of his hands was unchanged.
http://photoshopdisasters.blogspot.com/ is more in the same vein (but not racist).  Cheesy

11 REPLIES
Community Veteran
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Registered: 10-08-2007

Re: Microsoft Blunder again...

In marketing that is called localisation.
It is normal for a company to adapt their marketing and promotional material to suit different countries and cultures.
The first image was entirely appropriate to reflect the diversity of ethnicity in the US.
For Poland the thought behind the revised image may be more appropriate and suit the ethnic blend in Poland.
However you would think a company the size of Microsoft would have thrown some money at a new image specifically for their Polish market!
VileReynard
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Re: Microsoft Blunder again...

If M$ are so keen on localisation, they should hire Polish models and photographers and make a Polish picture.
They are just keen on bad Photoshop localisation. Crazy

Community Veteran
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Re: Microsoft Blunder again...

Correct.The image should represent Polish culture.
As I know more about this than Microsoft maybe I should offer my agency to them as marketing localization consultants $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
Community Veteran
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Re: Microsoft Blunder again...

And let's not overlook the fact that the person who's been photoshopped also happens to be using a Mac... (well Ok I can't be entirely certain, but the design aesthetic and port arrangement all look very Mac-ish to me).
VileReynard
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Re: Microsoft Blunder again...

I suppose the woman will be chopped out of the Malaysian version. Angry

Community Veteran
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Re: Microsoft Blunder again...

And for many other countries too!
Community Veteran
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Registered: 02-10-2008

Re: Microsoft Blunder again...

I agree a totally different set of models should be used - after all most Poles tend to different from us Brit's in my experince, having visited there and having Polish friends here.
Even the guy on the left of oriental extraction would be less common in Poland.
The car manufacturers are just as bad in a way - I've been looking at some car web sites / brochures etc - and the English language brochures seem shared with the US market - and the cars are predominantly left hand drive models. One would thought that as the far east, with Australasia have just as many right hand drive - they could have more of a balance. 
Community Veteran
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Re: Microsoft Blunder again...

Another opportunity to knock MS.  Some people are always willing to criticize but where would we be without them I wonder Wink
Community Veteran
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Registered: 02-10-2008

Re: Microsoft Blunder again...

Digital Research would probably have done well - CP/M and Gem ? - and the likes of Sun had "Windows" like interfaces on top of Unix.
Plenty of other good Wordprocessors / spreadsheets from the likes of Lotus 123 - etc.
So we would have been ok - and arguably better off.
Community Veteran
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Re: Microsoft Blunder again...

I don't think development would have been as great and I don't think the use of PCs in the home would have been so extensive.
VileReynard
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Re: Microsoft Blunder again...

There were quite a lot of expensive PC's when DOS was the major player.
That's DOS with a GUI - sort of.
Even the BBC Acorn thing was relatively widespread (in schools).
The first computer I ever used was the System 360 at County Hall.
The children sent coding sheets in, cards were punched and the programs compiled and run.
One week turnaround.
No screen, let alone a GUI etc.