Our company is using a licensed version of Microsoft Products, including MS Excel 2016. We suffered some financial damage because of incorrect financial calculations, that occurred as a result of the bug in the program. The bug was detected by our team afterwards, after detailed manual inspection of the formula. We checked other users and they all had the same problem was with all of them.

Is Microsoft responsible for the damage caused by the bug in its product? I mean, if Microsoft acknowledges the bug or it is otherwise proven to exist that it actually is a bug and actually causing the financial damage, what will be the legal approach and will Microsoft bear responsibility?

2 Answers 2


You are suggesting strict liability for software bugs. You haven't tried to show any negligence or incompetence on Microsoft's part, but just appear to have assumed that the existence of a bug that causes harm should create liability. Strict liability is rare, at least in the US, and does not in general apply to software. Given strict adherence to the best practice in developing software, there will be bugs, so a bug is not itself evidence of any sort of wrongdoing on Microsoft's part.

In real life, if there was strict liability for software bugs, nobody and no business would write software for the use of others, because of the ever-present potential of being wiped out by lawsuits despite all they could do.


Is Microsoft responsible for the damage caused by the bug in its product?

I highly doubt it, but only you have access to the [lengthy] terms of the End User License Agreement (EULA) for your Microsoft products. You should have reproduced the relevant excerpt(s) of the EULA that is (are) unclear to you.

The fact that you incurred financial losses during the process indicates that you executed it in a "Production environment". Without me knowing the specifics of that bug or of your script, Microsoft could persuasively argue that it is your responsibility to test the process & software prior to its deployment to Production.

Depending on the specifics of the issue, Microsoft could also show that your loses do not stem from MS-Excel itself but from some flawed programming/scripting of yours.

Moreover, given Microsoft's track of software updates and its Knowledge Base posts, I tend to think that it would be very hard to prove that Microsoft incurred negligence (or worse misconduct) in releasing software that has errors.

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