Economy, Sci & Tech

Iranians Miffed After Microsoft Drops Maps

Iranians Miffed After Microsoft Drops MapsIranians Miffed After Microsoft Drops Maps

In the recent Microsoft Creators Update rolled out to all PCs, tablets and phones running Windows 10 in the past few weeks, several Iranian users are looking with disbelief at the company’s Microsoft Maps app which has removed all but “major roads only” from the country.

According to Microsoft’s questions and answers page, several Iranian users of the operating system wrote to the company expressing outrage that Microsoft had cut off Iran’s maps without notice.

One user, Mehrdad Aria, wrote about his dismay that the company has now grouped Iran with countries like Guinea which lack mapping data.

Another user based in Mashhad, said the city had been removed entirely from Microsoft’s mapping application – he also provided photos of before and after the update.  

The situation, however, does not seem to be related in any way to American sanctions by Microsoft on Iran, and could be that the company has severed its ties with Here Maps, originally created by Nokia, and recently purchased by a consortium of German automakers for their self-driving car technology in 2016.

Microsoft in response to the problem returned with a standard line to the users that they “should uninstall the application” and reinstall it. Beyond that there is no help to users.

However, the poor quality of Microsoft service to Iranians is a boon for both Apple and Google who offer their own mapping services and have not followed suit.

Microsoft, due to the non-nuclear US sanctions is barred from entering the Iranian market. However, Iran is the biggest user of Microsoft software in the Middle East and Central Asia with millions using the software – albeit via pirated versions.

The Seattle-based firm has had a tenuous history with Iranian users, only relenting in 2015 to allow Iranian users access the company’s app store after 30,000 people signed a petition demanding their right to download free apps.

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