Microsoft’s Windows 10 ads inadvertently ruffle feathers in Korea with… a bad choice of font?

Microsoft’s Windows 10 ads inadvertently ruffle feathers in Korea with… a bad choice of font?

American tech giant Microsoft apparently has some explaining to do to Korean Windows users.

That’s because a television commercial announcing the recent release of Microsoft Windows 10, the latest and blessedly less-infuriating edition of the company’s flagship operating system, apparently commits an unwritten faux pas by way of a text font displayed in the ad.

And if you’re as baffled as we initially were about how a simple, commonly used font could be so offensive, well, let us tell you a little story about Japan-Korea relations…

See, Japan kind of has a way of angering most of its East Asian neighbors – largely through its cavalier and sometimes revisionist attitude about certain war atrocities that we won’t get into here – so hating Japanese goods and pop culture tends to come in and out of vogue in places like China and Korea.

And it just so happens that one of the Japanese products that certain folks in Korea are boycotting is the once popular and very common computer text font, Gulim , which was apparently designed in Japan.

Microsoft’s Windows 10 ads inadvertently ruffle feathers in Korea with… a bad choice of font?

It’s unclear how long the movement to boycott said font has been going on, or what spurred it; whether the font was recently outed as a Japanese product or whether the commercial just happened to come around when particular circles of Korean Windows users were particularly angry at Japan.

Anyway, if you think getting worked up about a font is, well, kind of dumb, rest assured you’re not alone. A lot of Korean Netizens are equally baffled by this hatred of what is essentially just some slightly differently shaped text, commenting:

“I don’t see the problem. Gulim has been the Windows default font forever.”

“Korea is infamous for software pirating. It’s no wonder Microsoft isn’t going out of their way for us!”

“People complaining about a stupid font just have a weird victim complex.”

“Turns out Korea isn’t the center of the universe after all!”

On the flipside, those not on Team Gulim point out that changing a font is super simple and Microsoft sticking with the font for the commercial indicates a lack of cultural awareness that a huge, multinational corporation has no excuse for. Others also point out that Google made a similar faux pax in the past despite purporting to be dedicated to the Korean market.

Regardless, there’s certainly a lot of cultural and economic exchange going on between Korea and Japan, so the two countries’ relationship is, we guess, more “frenemy” than “mortal adversaries,” indicating that probably those complaining about a font – of all things – are a small but vocal minority.

We trust our fine readers will keep the comments section civil here, lest we be forced to admonish you in Comic Sans.

Source: Focus-Asia/Yahoo! News Japan
Screenshots via Microsoft

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Microsoft’s Windows 10 ads inadvertently ruffle feathers in Korea with… a bad choice of font?