Chinese daily fooled by spoof that Win 8 glitch forced missile test delay

Paper reports as news a quote from a "source" that North Korea's Kim Jong-un was considering declaring war on Microsoft.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un: "Hello, may I speak with Steve Ballmer, please?" Getty Images
Over the years, Windows users have shared plenty of war stories about their computers suddenly freezing up, forcing them to shut down and then reboot their machines at the worst possible times. But declaring war on Microsoft? Even in the wildest realms of hyperbole, that's cuckoo talk.

But not so crazy if we're talking about 21st Century Business, the Guangdong, China-based publication which fell hook, line, and sinker for a spoof column authored by New Yorker humorist Andy Borowitz. The Thursday edition of the Borowitz Report reported that North Korea's military had scrapped a planned missile test due to unidentified problems with Windows 8.

And that was enough for the daily to run with the story. To wit:

Intelligence analysts said that the announcement gave rare insight into the inner workings of North Korea's missile program, which until last year had been running on Windows 95.

The announcement from the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) did not indicate a new scheduled time for a missile test, saying only that it was "working with Windows 8 support to resolve the issue."

In the words of one intelligence analyst, "That means the test has been delayed indefinitely."

A source close to the North Korean regime reported that Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un is furious about the Windows 8 problems and is considering a number of options, including declaring war on Microsoft.

The South China Morning Post was the first publication to spot the goof. The post was subsequently deleted, according to the National Journal's Brian Fung.

 

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