Microsoft has had to change some software code it has been using for a while after it was discovered that a hexadecimal string hidden inside spelt the phrase "big boobs".

The code in question connects the Linux kernel to Microsoft's HyperV virtualisation product and was discovered recently by Paolo Bonzini, who pointed out that lurking inside was the string "0xB16B00B5". It's not the first time this kind of thing has been seen by someone sniffing around in the code. When it was originally submitted it also contained "0x0B00B135" (boobies).

Clearly, these were added as a childish joke by one or more of the original Microsoft programmers, although their employer isn't quite so amused.

In a statement sent to Network World, the software giant said, "We thank the community for reporting this issue and apologise for the offensive string. We have submitted a patch to fix this issue and the change will be published in a future release of the kernel."

For those who missed seeing the string for themselves though, you could always get a calculator, type "59009" and turn it upside down. It's an old favourite of classrooms everywhere.

Is Microsoft being too stuffy? Let us know in the comments below...

Pic: (cc) Electricnerve