Tech giants, Microsoft, have announced that they will be removing spellcheck features from their Microsoft Office software. The announcement, seemingly appearing out of nowhere, was given by Microsoft CEO Natya Sadella at a press conference, who explained that the decision had been the result of 5 years of research:
“We have been keeping tabs on the literacy scores of today’s young people and we have noticed that on average spelling and grammar competency has dropped by about 130% since the 60’s”
Microsoft’s social media team made the announcement on Twitter 3 days ago, where they posted:
“We love our young people and that is why we want them to strive to be their best. Recent studies show that the literacy skills of the new generation are dropping and we want to be proactive to help get our young people, our future, back on track. This is why, effective as of the 19th of March, we will be releasing a free update that will remove spellcheck and some other features from Office. We hope you’ll join us on the path to a brighter future”.
While some people took to this idea with open arms, labelling it “a fantastic idea” and commenting that it was “about time kids actually learnt to spell”, others did not share the same feeling. Frustrated users called it out as unnecessary, with some even threatening to boycott Microsoft.
The backlash faced by the company forced them to release another statement, indicating that the update was not compulsory and was ultimately targeted at schools. They went on to explain that Office would still run normally without the update.
Despite the public backlash, Microsoft have not made any new announcements on the matter and are expected to follow through with their new version of Office.