When vendors insult themselves

Raymond Chen

During Windows 95, when we were building the Plug and Play infrastructure, we got an angry letter from a hardware vendor (who shall remain nameless) complaining that we intentionally misspelled their company name in our INF files in a manner that made their company name similar to an insulting word.

This is of course a very serious accusation, and we set to work to see what happened. It didn’t take long to find the misspelling. The question now was why we spelled it wrong.

Further investigation revealed that the reason the company name was misspelled is that they misspelled their own name in their hardware devices’ firmware. When Plug and Play asked the device for its manufacturer name, it replied with the misspelled name. So of course our INF file had to have an entry with the misspelled name so that we could identify the device when the user connected it. (The name displayed to the user did not contain the misspelling.)

We sent a very polite letter to the company explaining the reason for the misspelling. As far as I am aware, they never brought up the subject again.


Discussion is closed.

Feedback usabilla icon