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MS tears swastika from roof of Office

Critical update strikes at heart of darkness

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Microsoft today released a critical update to remove "unacceptable symbols" from Bookshelf Symbol 7 font.

Just 58-odd years after the Red Army hoisted its standard on the roof of the Reichstag on 30 April 1945, effectively ending the European war, MS has finally flushed the swastika from its last hiding place - an otherwise innocent font shipped with Office 2003.

This has hardly been a Blitzkrieg on Microsoft's part. The company has been aware of the presence of the Mark of the Beast since December. At the time it promised an immediate utility to remove the characters. It also passed the buck onto the hapless Japanese (from whose happy land the font apparently originated), and launched a damage-prevention campaign by contacting Jewish organisations before the whole thing got out of hand.

Which is interesting, because the update has taken the airbrush of history to another well-known character:

MS Symbol 7 before and after the update

What does it mean? Well, we leave it to the black helicopter brigade to construct a conspiracy theory around this one.

In any case, it would be a bit rich for El Reg (Motto: We put the "typO" in "typographical") to get sniffy about font outrages.

Older readers may recall the scandal which saw us spread profanity and filth across cyberspace by using Wingdings in a headline to spell out our opinion on conspiracy theorists in a plug for a new Cash'n'Carrion t-shirt.

What we didn't know, however, was that the font would not render in some browsers, thereby displaying the original word in all its glory to millions of innocent women and children.

Suffice it to say the reaction was similar to that caused by Janet Jackson's nipple jewellery on prime-time TV. Mind you, our t-shirt sales went through the roof, so some good came of the fiasco.

We hope Microsoft can gain something equally positive from its gaffe. Still, it's all fixed now, and ten weeks is precious little time for white supremacists to exploit Bookshelf Symbol 7 for the promulgation of neo-Nazi ideology.

Pity the poor old Buddhists, though. How in future will they represent the footsteps of the Buddha if not with Microsoft's help? Suggestions on a postcard please to Sir Bill Gates of all the Microsofts.

Bootnote

Big up respect to reader James Wilkinson for the screen grabs shown above.

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