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Microsoft

Gates Provides Windows Crash Statistic 984

Posted by michael
from the fasten-seat-belts dept.
cybercuzco writes "In an otherwise innocuous article at they NYT (FRRYYY) Bill Gates says that according to error reporting software in windows, 5% of all windows installations crash two or more times every day. Gates goes on to state that Microsoft is looking at charging for some of its software updates that it now distributes for free."
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Gates Provides Windows Crash Statistic

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  • Cash for updates? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Burlynerd (535250) * on Friday July 25, 2003 @05:21PM (#6536063)
    Bill is becoming the world expert on increasing revenue without providing value to his customers.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 25, 2003 @05:22PM (#6536084)
      Billy is still taking lessons from the RIAA.
    • by Laur (673497) on Friday July 25, 2003 @05:28PM (#6536155)
      Bill is becoming the world expert on increasing revenue without providing value to his customers.

      I'd have to say that SCO has him beat. At least Microsoft sells products, SCO posted a profit for the first time in years based solely on licensing 20+ year old technology!

    • by Microsofts slave (522033) on Friday July 25, 2003 @05:34PM (#6536231) Homepage Journal
      What Mr.Bill wants us to do is to pay for the updates that are technicly a result of his own screwups. HOw many of you out there think that this is a cash grab? If this backfires, it could end up with thousands of users migrating to somthing that is less costly to keep "Up to date" I personally am a big fan of FreeBSD, however i have tried out windows xp and found that for the most part it is sufficent for the average user. But if this happeness that i have to pay to uppgrade, i dont think there will be many who pay, just pirated copies that will circualate.
      • by gl4ss (559668) on Friday July 25, 2003 @06:04PM (#6536571) Homepage Journal
        ms has been doing this for YEARS, if you haven't noticed the main reason for 'upgrading' to more modern windows version is usually the fact that the older version is insecure or has some major flaws, and then after couple of years it's the same thing all again.

        now, if he is serious about pulling this through (for smaller updates) people sould make complaints to the local organizations or officials depending on the country that look after consumer rights, it is not legal to sell a product that is defective (has major flaws) and then charge for fixing it. if your car's engine has a manufacturing flaw, it is the manufacturers(importers) responsibility to take care of it. there was some press some time back on game bugs, and how some games shipped with bugs that prevented you from playing them through(!), iirc the consumer advisor recommended refund of the games, at least, if the consumer wanted.

        anyways, you already pretty much have to pay to somebody for keeping your windows machine up to date, because the updates take a nice amount of bandwith (you either have broadband and updates or you don't, luggaging servicepacks on cd's is not an option for most common people).
        • by Megahurts (215296) on Friday July 25, 2003 @06:23PM (#6536707)
          I think the whole idea is that people who have pirated copies won't be able to patch the holes that are there in the initial release because they won't subscribe to the updates.
          • Re:Cash for updates? (Score:3, Informative)

            by gl4ss (559668)
            well that would be something exactly like they tried with xp, the warezed versions would cease to work after service pack installation.

            of course there were ways around this.. but they at least tried something.. the 'whole' idea is to get them to be subscribers, you can't warez an internet connection you subscribe to, ms would like to sell you a subscription service similar to that.
            • by Patrick13 (223909) on Friday July 25, 2003 @07:04PM (#6536991) Homepage Journal
              according to error reporting software in windows

              Well considering that I think most people rarely send MS error reports - I would guess that 2 times per day is a low estimate of windows crashes.
              • by VertigoAce (257771) on Friday July 25, 2003 @07:21PM (#6537086)
                But those error reports often come from application crashes that don't take down the system. And most of the one's I've seen are from non-MS applications. It's kind of like how Konqueror or some other KDE app will crash and pop the segmentation fault box.

                I don't by any means think Windows is reliable, I'm just saying that application errors are a strange way to guage OS stability.
                • by 1lus10n (586635) on Friday July 25, 2003 @10:50PM (#6538003) Journal
                  " But those error reports often come from application crashes that don't take down the system. And most of the one's I've seen are from non-MS applications. It's kind of like how Konqueror or some other KDE app will crash and pop the segmentation fault box."

                  well thats microsofts fault for allowing so many userland hooks into the damn kernel. i have been using Linux, *BSD, and even Solaris for years and at no point have i ever had an application crash a system. i once had an nvidia driver lockup (well X and the v-terms stopped working) a Linux system. but its a device driver,(shitty one at that) not an application.
                • Re:Cash for updates? (Score:5, Interesting)

                  by fshalor (133678) <.ten.tsacmoc. .ta. .rolahsf.> on Friday July 25, 2003 @11:23PM (#6538105) Homepage Journal
                  Yeah... But.. in windows, the machine manages to hang on the simpliest of errors by other programs. And what probably causes those hangs in the 3rd part vendors? Some of those undocumented hooks into the api which haven't been secured/stabilized/coded correctly at MS. At least in linux/BSD/UNIX you usually know what happened, and have a chance of fixing it. I can deal with popup errors, I just want to still be able to work, damn it! It just comes down to what's best for how one works. And how much one is willing to sacrifice for security and stability. Every OS balances between these three pilars. MS can't seem to get all three legs to balance on the floor. :) And now they want us to pay for the wood filler. :)
    • by archen (447353)
      Well if so many people use windows there must be some value in windows - even if it is because "every application I use runs on windows" sort of reasons... which isn't much, but it's something.

      I wonder if this isn't the second sly attempt by microsoft to move to a subscription model. Look at what RedHat does - Get the OS for free, then encourage people to pay for their services. Now Microsoft takes this a step farther. Get MS Windows [blah blah] Edition which is discounted but allows you to get updates w
    • Re:Cash for updates? (Score:5, Informative)

      by sharlskdy (460886) <scottman@teDALIlus.net minus painter> on Friday July 25, 2003 @05:50PM (#6536424) Homepage
      Does this mean we're ever going to see Windows XP Service pack 2? Seriously, is it my memory playing tricks on me, or did or did not Microsoft promise (hah!) to release service packs every six months? SP1 was released Sept 9, 2002. Sp1A was released Feb 3, 2003, with the only acknowledged change being that they ripped out Java.

      Oct 25, 2001 - Windows XP ships
      Sept 9, 2002 - SP1 ships (10.5 months, or 4.5 months late)
      Sept ?, 2003 - SP2 ships (12 months, or 6 months late) Check out Mr. Allchin's comments [com.com].

      And, according to this [ethan-c-allen.com] link there are almost 300 issues addressed in this long-overdue patch.

      What exactly are they going to charge for? Fixes, or enhancements? Apple charges for their regular updates - OSX 10.1, OSX 10.2, OSX 10.3, but they are also ENHANCING the product significantly with every release. Is this something MS intends to do, because I certainly don't mind paying for updates to the software as long as it actually ENHANCES things. I'll be pretty ticked off if I have to pay for FIXES.
      • by cgenman (325138) on Friday July 25, 2003 @11:48PM (#6538196) Homepage
        You too can own your own copy of Windows XP SP2! Just 99.95 (per year) gets you a full suite of new abilities such as an enhanced notepad with integrated spellcheck feature, an easier control panel system with automatic user-input correction, an integrated desktop launch bar, and automatic digital video camera detection for your digital lifestyle. A revamped Internet Explorer now features "Tabbed Browsing," a revolutionary first in Internet Experiences brought to you by the innovators at Microsoft. And you get security patches that prevent the Skynet virus from becoming self-aware and launching nuclear weapons against humanity's densely populated cities. And themes! SP2 contains over 20 new windows themes for you to choose from. With such desktops as "Daisy Sunshine," "Piano Blues," and "Where do you want to go today?" you are sure to find a style that fits any taste.

        Remember, when you don't upgrade your software, you support the destruction of all mankind at the hands of The Machines.

        Brought to you by Microsoft.

        Microsoft: There is no Fate.

  • skewed statistics. (Score:5, Informative)

    by vanadium4761 (203839) * <jason@vallery.net> on Friday July 25, 2003 @05:21PM (#6536064) Homepage
    The 5% number is just skewed heavily by the fact that any poorly written app that crashes is counted. Whenever an app crashes the windows error reporting system fires off a log to microsoft regarding the crash. I bet 90%+ of these crashes have nothing to do with windows.

    • by ejdmoo (193585) on Friday July 25, 2003 @05:25PM (#6536116)
      Maybe it's possible that they didn't count those? The error report is more than just a ping, it actually contains information on what crashed and sometimes even sends a memory dump.
    • by arf_barf (639612)
      Whenever I close my VB 6 IDE it crashes on my WinXP system, followed by this annoying Bug Report dialog. So, yes, this might have skewed the numbers a bit, but then again it's a MS product :-)

      P.S This never happens on my Win2K workstation.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 25, 2003 @05:31PM (#6536205)
      Uh, No.

      The statistic is highly scewed because most people don't send the crash report to Microsoft.

    • by The Masked Fruitcake (630078) <`ten.elavrats' `ta' `ttam'> on Friday July 25, 2003 @05:33PM (#6536218) Journal
      You're absolutely right. I've found that by not installing or running any software, I can dramatically improve the performance and stability of Windows.
      • by lurgyman (587233) on Friday July 25, 2003 @06:21PM (#6536689)
        ...and Windows barely crashes at all when I select "linux-2.6.0-test1" at the boot prompt :)
    • by homer_ca (144738)
      I think the Windows error reporting service can only handle application errors and non-fatal system errors. If there was a BSOD or a hard freeze, the service wouldn't be running any more to report the crash, although theoretically it's possible for the service to check for a BSOD crash dump file and send a report after rebooting.

      As far as the 5% have apps that crashed twice or more a day. That's not hard to imagine:

      "'random shareware app' has generated errors."
      WTF? Run it again.
      "'random shareware app' has
      • by supremebob (574732) <themejunkyNO@SPAMgeocities.com> on Friday July 25, 2003 @05:45PM (#6536364) Journal
        Actually, the error reporter service is smart enough to handle BSOD's. Once the system reboots, the error reporter notifies the user of the user of the problem (Which is stupid, because most people have a clue that there is a problems if their system suddenly reboots itself!), and gives them an option to send part of the core dump to Microsoft.

        I've found the feature to be really annoying while you're trying to debug the problem, however, so I usually turn it off.
      • by Jeremiah Blatz (173527) on Friday July 25, 2003 @05:47PM (#6536381) Homepage
        homer_ca writes:

        I think the Windows error reporting service can only handle application errors and non-fatal system errors. If there was a BSOD or a hard freeze, the service wouldn't be running any more to report the crash, although theoretically it's possible for the service to check for a BSOD crash dump file and send a report after rebooting.
        That is exactly what ti does. My girlfriend's laptop (XP Home) had a defective heat sink, so the vid card was overheating and crashing Windows. After it came back up, it sent off an error report to MS. (BTW, free repair, compaq paid Airborne Express shipping both ways, and had online maintenance tracking. Not too shabby.)
      • My WinXP Pro isntallation crashes about four times a week. Microsoft does track these. Most installations are configured to create a core dump on a stop error. They use a more detailed mechanism to report these failures. In fact, where as the regular app crash reporting just sends data, the OS crash sends the data, connects to MS in IE and presents information to you.

        Most of the time for me, that information is "this was caused by a device driver problem; we are investigating." Once however, it told m
    • by JanneM (7445) on Friday July 25, 2003 @05:34PM (#6536238) Homepage
      The numbers they quote are system crashes, not application crashes. An operating system that allows a user-level app to cause a system crash is poorly designed. It doesn't matter if the fault originated in the OS itself or not.

    • by Cali Thalen (627449) on Friday July 25, 2003 @05:36PM (#6536258) Homepage
      You're also assuming that the people who get the crashes actually SEND the error report...I crash multiple times daily, and have stopped bothering to send the reports at all (mostly because it's the same app that usually crashes...Internet Explorer)

    • by David Hume (200499) on Friday July 25, 2003 @05:41PM (#6536326) Homepage

      The 5% number is just skewed heavily by the fact that any poorly written app that crashes is counted. Whenever an app crashes the windows error reporting system fires off a log to microsoft regarding the crash. I bet 90%+ of these crashes have nothing to do with windows.


      A couple of observations.

      First, just because an application crashes under Windows does not necessarily mean that it is the fault of the application, or that there is an error in the application's code. A bug in windows could cause the application to crash. (Does anyone remember the days of "Windows isn't done until [fill in the blank] won't run?") If I fall because the foundation under me crumbles, is it my fault? Does it imply that there is something wrong with my legs, or my sense of balance? Or is it because maybe something was wrong with the foundation?

      Secondly, I suspect that the 5% number is low. As I recall, when an application crashes, the windows error reporting system puts up a "Yes / No" dialog box asking permission to fire off an error report to Microsoft. I know many people who routinely click "No" because they don't want to be bothered and/or don't want to send any information to MS about their box. I suspect that many more people see that dialog box than click "Yes." Thus, crashes are under-reported.

    • by edashofy (265252) on Friday July 25, 2003 @05:53PM (#6536451)
      The debate here is whether the NYTimes is reporting the statistics right. We all know that the Windows Error Reporting service generally jumps up at us whenever we have an application crash, which is the fault of the application. Having not seen a real, bona-fide BSOD on my own Windows machines in years (literally), I don't know whether the crash reporting service reports them to MS or not.

      Whether the NYTimes reporter can tell the difference between an application crash and an OS crash is up for debate (I'd say there are 50/50 odds either way).

      That number is also a huge aggregate of apples and oranges. It doesn't make a distinction between 9X kernels and NT kernels, which I would bet have wildly different numbers of OS crashes (just about anything can blow up a 9X kernel, NT kernel BSODs are generally caused by faulty device drivers, hardware faults, and OS bugs).

      The real problem WRT crashing on NT kernel machines is the device drivers running in kernel space. This means that a non-OS part of the system can zap the OS part of the system. Thus, even if you do convert everybody to an NT kernel-based OS, you're probably going to continue to have trouble with people that run terribly bad hardware with equally terrible device drivers. Unfortunately, most people don't understand that buying that white box ethernet card from Fry's or that roundy-looking-box-with-crappy-monitor consumer PC from Best Buy really *can* hurt you in the morning.

      When and if MS rearchitects the Windows kernel so device drivers run in user space, or some protected space, I think that the so-called reliability gap between UNIX/UNIX workalikes and Windows will be very, very small indeed.
  • WOW. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by michrech (468134) on Friday July 25, 2003 @05:21PM (#6536065)
    5% may sound like a small amount, but considering HOW MANY Windows boxes exist on EARTH, that is a HUGE number...
    • Re:WOW. (Score:5, Funny)

      by JavaTHut (9877) on Friday July 25, 2003 @05:28PM (#6536150) Homepage
      5% may sound like a small amount, but considering HOW MANY Windows boxes exist on EARTH, that is a HUGE number...

      ... which is why we use a percentage

    • Imagine if Gates got a nickel for every time Windows crashed... oh, wait
    • No kidding.. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by msimm (580077)
      Not to mention that 2 or more (what 10? 90?) times a day is really a lot and is probably an indication of a really serious problem. 2 to 3 crashes a week is probably my Windows norm and enough to make me want to huge my Linux box when I finally get home.
  • Boy... (Score:5, Funny)

    by momerath2003 (606823) on Friday July 25, 2003 @05:21PM (#6536068) Journal
    If that's not a conservative estimate, call me a liberal.
  • by agrippa_cash (590103) on Friday July 25, 2003 @05:22PM (#6536072) Homepage
    I haven't read the article, but I assume that the Poster meant to type 95%. Its OK, we all make mistakes.
    • by lfourrier (209630) on Friday July 25, 2003 @05:29PM (#6536169)
      5% of windows installations that report to redmond crashes 2 or more times a day.
      How many of you press cancel when the error report is to be send ?
      If user are not completely stupids(did you already read a report and understood all what to be send to MS), 90% of crashes are not reported. And 5% are so crashed they are not in a state to do any reporting. so we now have 100% of all windows installations.
  • So? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Dthoma (593797) on Friday July 25, 2003 @05:22PM (#6536079) Journal
    There's no way to be sure that it's necessarily Windows that causes the crash; it could be some badly installed rogue software, viruses, crappy system administration, or all of the above. Though no doubt the reflexive Microsoft bashers will blame Microsoft anyway.
    • Re:So? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Dr. Zowie (109983) * <`slashdot' `at' `deforest.org'> on Friday July 25, 2003 @05:25PM (#6536108)
      It doesn't matter what "causes" the crash. The OS should be essentially crashproof. That's what an OS was for, and it was why Apple got such a drubbing before OS X finally came out (twelve years later).
    • Re:So? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by KrispyKringle (672903) on Friday July 25, 2003 @05:25PM (#6536110)
      And of course there are plenty of people who choose not to send the crash report to MS, or, even more likely, do not (*gasp*) have always-on-connections and cannot send the report to MS. The vast majority, for all we know, go unreported. This is, after all, hardly an accurate means of statistical sampling.
  • by calebb (685461) * <slashdotNO@SPAMbenefiel.net> on Friday July 25, 2003 @05:23PM (#6536087) Homepage Journal

    HERE IS THE DIRECT LINK [nytimes.com] : (Doesn't require you to log in!) Thank you, Google News! [google.com]


    My favorite part: Last week, Microsoft raised its revenue forecast for fiscal 2004 by about $1 billion. At the same time the company also said it had no plans to spend any of its $49 billion cash on major acquisitions or increase dividends, despite recent rumors.

    Now, If I'm reading this article correctly, they are indirectly affecting their positive cashflow 'problem' by increasing R&D. The article says that Microsoft expects revenue to increase 6-9% (of total revenue) in 2004; They are going to spend 8% more on R&D (8% more than R&D expenses in 2003)... So this looks like one way that Microsoft is going to slow down their positive cashflow. I can't see anything bad coming from Microsoft spending more on R This should be beneficial to end-users as long as MS doesn't spend all this additional research money finding better ways to make it difficult to pirate Windows.

  • 5% (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 25, 2003 @05:24PM (#6536100)
    The other 95% of all Windows installations have the reporting feature disabled...
  • by wo1verin3 (473094) on Friday July 25, 2003 @05:24PM (#6536101) Homepage
    >>Microsoft is looking at charging for some of
    >>its software updates that it now distributes
    >>for free."

    Buffer ovverflow - $15
    Firewall Fix - $45
    Service Pack 3 - $300
    Knowing that no matter how much patches come out, Linux will be more secure - Pricess
  • by taniwha (70410) on Friday July 25, 2003 @05:24PM (#6536102) Homepage Journal
    doesn't that give MS an incentive to leave bugs in?
  • by webguru4god (537138) * on Friday July 25, 2003 @05:24PM (#6536106)
    Microsoft charging for Windows Updates is analogous to Ford charging their customers extra for basic safety features which should be free in the first place! What if Ford told you that there was a fatal flaw in your seatbelt system that could allow you to be thrown from the car in a crash, and that the problem was a result of poor engineering on their behalf, and that you had to pay out of your own pocket to fix it! If that happened the government would surely intervene and force Ford to provide the fix for free. I can't belive that Microsoft has the gall to even consider charging us to fix the holes in their systems that are there because of their own fault!
    • by Pieroxy (222434) on Friday July 25, 2003 @05:31PM (#6536204) Homepage
      Probably not. See the article mention MS charging for "some" of the updates. I bet the security fixes would be free.

      I can't belive that Microsoft has the gall to even consider charging us to fix the holes in their systems

      That's good you can't believe it, because nobody said it.
      • >> I bet the security fixes would be free.

        That'd be a great thing... you could get security features without them trying to ram "upgrades" like DRM down your throat then!

        A lot of MS's current patches come along with unwanted tag-alongs like that... I'd welcome the change.

        MadCow.
    • by Lead Butthead (321013) on Friday July 25, 2003 @05:36PM (#6536257) Journal
      I think Dilbert had one (rumored to be based on a true story) where the company decided to offer a bounty for every bug fixed. As usual, Wally decided to "write himself a minivan." I can already see bugs been inserted proactively by employees to boost their stock option value...
    • by Audity (600754)
      It doesn't surprise me at all, think of it from their point of view. System administrators tend to get fired for not installing updates; especially with all the recent viruses runing around wreaking havoc on the world's unpatched servers. This means that system administrators (who want to keep their jobs) will convince their employers to fork over the money to buy the updates. So since microsoft is likely to experience a fairly small drop in patch downloads compared to the increase in price, it will inc
    • Actually, the automotive industry normally does charge extra for safety features when they first come out. Only later does it become standard. Good example was back in the 60's, my father baught a chevy with seat belts. He paid extra for those. Interestingly, my grandmother was opposed to these as it showed my father as being an unsafe driver for having them (no safe driver would need them). The real difference here, is that the competitive automotive industry provides safety as an option until overwhelming
    • by Grishnakh (216268) on Friday July 25, 2003 @06:55PM (#6536931)
      I can't belive that Microsoft has the gall to even consider charging us to fix the holes in their systems that are there because of their own fault!

      Why not? I can believe it. And maybe if all the other stupid MS customers out there would get it through their thick skulls that sitting around galled and shocked at this brazen display of customer-unfriendly monopolistic power is not going to make MS change magically into a company that values its customers, and stop buying their products and go to their competitors instead, then we wouldn't constantly be reading here about all the problems with MS products.
  • Cool... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jaysyn (203771) <jaysyn+slashdot.gmail@com> on Friday July 25, 2003 @05:25PM (#6536114) Homepage Journal
    Nothing to push the masses to Linux/Mac like charging for updates & bugfixes.

    Jaysyn
    • So I pay for a copy of Windows and soon I might have to pay Microsoft to fix the bugs that shouldn't have been there in the first place?

      I've been considering switching to Linux for a while now and having to pay more money to Microsoft for fixes would cause me to switch for sure. I'm not going to put up with crap like that!

  • by Frac (27516) on Friday July 25, 2003 @05:26PM (#6536122)
    Mr. Gates stressed that the company's biggest bet is on the next version of Windows.

    Well duh. The company's biggest bet is always on the next version of Windows!

    If they said "Well, we're betting the entire company's future on the next version of Microsoft Bob", they're screwed. ;-P
  • by kgarcia (93122) on Friday July 25, 2003 @05:28PM (#6536143) Homepage
    that according to error reporting software in windows

    yeah, but how many people actually use the "report this error to microsoft" feature?. I know everytime I get a crash, I opt to not send the report, and I know i'm not the only one that does this. Also, the only time this method for reporting error is used at all is when customers are on broadband connections, or in office networks (can you imagine wating for your modem to dial to report an error or a crash?), and what about those times when the crash is so bad your entire system needs to be restarted?. From what I can tell, this error reporting software only sends error reports regarding programs that crash, not the OS itself. So... 5% of windows users, who are on persistent connections, who use the error reporting software, who had a crash on an application that doesn't freeze the entire system, are crashing at least 2 times a day... The real number has to be much higher that that.

    -K

    -K
    • Great thinking! That way, no one will know how your program is crashing, so Microsoft won't be able to fix a potential bug!

      I mean, yeah, I could see not reporting a pirated copy of Photoshop or something. But come on people... they are fixing hundreds of bugs a year, help them identify which ones are the important ones.

      And windows will ask if you want to send a non-hardware related report if the OS died for non-hardware related issues (I had it ask just the other day if I wanted to report a spontanious re
    • From what I can tell, this error reporting software only sends error reports regarding programs that crash, not the OS itself.

      No. Twice, Windows has done a hard, cold BSOD and at the next boot, come up with a msg saying something like "Uh oh. Call home?" in slightly different words. Btw, in both cases the error was reported to be in a driver (yep, I read the details).

      Kjella
  • Nothing new (Score:3, Funny)

    by chrisgeleven (514645) on Friday July 25, 2003 @05:29PM (#6536156) Homepage
    Microsoft has charged for updates for years silly. Just look at 98 SE, ME, and XP. Nothing changes this practice, except we can guarentee that service packs are now going to be rebranded as YP and ZP respectively to go along with the eXPerience.
  • that's sad. (Score:3, Funny)

    by poot_rootbeer (188613) on Friday July 25, 2003 @05:29PM (#6536167)

    Suddenly, I'm really thankful for my Win98 (1st edition) install -- it only crashes 2 or three times a WEEK!
    • Re:that's sad. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Keebler71 (520908)
      Mod me down for -not- posting an anti-MS post but my main computer has been running Windows XP for almost a year and a half and it still has not crashed once. Sure, apps crash every once in a while, but they never bring down the OS (at least in my case). However, nearly every time I kill a process via the task manager, an error is reported back to MS. I wonder if these are counted and artificially raising the count?
  • by Archfeld (6757) * <treboreel@live.com> on Friday July 25, 2003 @05:29PM (#6536172) Journal
    of mysterious windows crash during system build, BEFORE there are any apps to mess it up. I've heard 10% but never seen that high, more like 8% from my view, and I've built 1000's of pc's and servers, and more using our new image process, so these are similar models, with standard equipment that for some strange reason get a variety of errors during the build process. 99% of those go along there merry after a reboot, and the remaining 1% is almost ALWAYS disk or memory errors.
  • by eap (91469) on Friday July 25, 2003 @05:31PM (#6536195) Journal
    are still stuck at the "Windows was not shut down properly" screen.
  • by falcon5768 (629591) <Falcon5768@@@comcast...net> on Friday July 25, 2003 @05:31PM (#6536201) Journal
    Damnit I was beat submitting this story :-P

    But on to my topic,

    Now how many people crash ONCE a day??? It seems odd that he would pick just twice a day to report, what would have looked more impressive would have been Bill saying "Only 5% of our users crash once or more using all of our operating systems."

    I know as all you do it would have been a much more staggering figure since just about any Windows PC I see at work crashes once a day, so I can see why he didnt say it.

    Glad my linux and OSX boxes crash on an average of once every 6 or 7 months or so.

  • REPORTED incidents (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mu*puppy (464254) on Friday July 25, 2003 @05:35PM (#6536249)
    Then there's the rest of us, company networks who have things nicely fire-walled, techies who configure their friend's computers to never contact M$ with 'quality assurance crash reports', installations for people who don't have 'net access (they -do- exist), etc...
  • Reality check (Score:3, Insightful)

    by xant (99438) on Friday July 25, 2003 @05:37PM (#6536284) Homepage
    ok, 5% crash 2 or more times per day.
    Let's say then, that maybe 10% crash once per day, 20% crash every couple of days, 40% crash once a week, etc. If we only go that far that's saying

    75% of windows computers crash at least once a week.

    If once a week doesn't sound like a lot to you, imagine how annoyed you'd be if your ISP was down once a week, because that's what we're talking about. ... and here's some for-pay updates to fix that problem, you drooling idiot customer. WINDOWS IS YOUR GOD. WORSHIP IT.
  • waitaminute (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Wordsmith (183749) on Friday July 25, 2003 @06:12PM (#6536639) Homepage
    wait just a gul darn minute ...

    I was under the impression the error reporting tool didn't send any personally identifiable info back to MS. How, exactly, is he figuring out the frequency with which individual machines crash?
  • by mdubinko (459807) on Friday July 25, 2003 @06:38PM (#6536800) Homepage
    Think about it. 100 million Windows users. 5% is 5 mil. At 2 crashes a day, that's 10 million transactions. Daily. Not even counting all the less frequent crashers.

    That's 416,666 transactions per hour, 6944 transactions per minute, or about 116 transactions per second.

    If each report is 50K (don't have an exact figure, and I don't want to wait the .5 day to measure it), the throughput is 500 gigabytes per day, averaging 46.4 Megabits/second.

    *That's* the kind of data processing system I'd like to buy!
    -m
    • More importantly, how the hell do they keep THAT machine up and running? is it one of the 5%? Bet it ain't 200/0!
      It also does not take into account businesses like ours that reboot ALL the NT Webservers once a day to keep them from falling over.
      FWIW, they are being replace by a clump of SUN's.
  • Wow (Score:3, Funny)

    by SargeZT (609463) <pshanahan@mn.rr.com> on Friday July 25, 2003 @07:03PM (#6536987) Homepage
    At least microsoft dosent make cars!
  • Whos fault? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rossz (67331) <ogre@nospAm.geekbiker.net> on Friday July 25, 2003 @07:31PM (#6537131) Homepage Journal
    I see several comments that say an application crashing can't be blamed on Microsoft. I disagree. When there are fundamental flaws in the OS that guarantee crashes, Microsoft damn well deserves the blame. I've seen it. A memory leakage problem in Win NT 4 guaranteed that programs that did certain types of operations would crash eventually. There was no way to work around it.

    Not all application crashes can be blamed on the OS, but the number is probably significant.
  • by rice_burners_suck (243660) on Friday July 25, 2003 @08:12PM (#6537328)
    Bill is thinking small. Why charge for upgrades? It is so difficult to convince people that they need updates when they're free. What makes Microsoft think that people will pay for something they won't bother to take for free?

    What Bill needs to do is think fourth dimensionally. Updates continue to be free. Hell, Windows itself and all other Microsoft software should be completely free of charge as well. Microsoft will instead bring in ten times more profit by...

    Charging for each software malfunction!

    Microsoft will include special code in its kernels that will be backed up by a legally required instruction in the processor, along with a strong encryption path on the physical electronics that protect this particular instruction. This innovative technology will automatically detect software malfunctions and send a strongly encrypted packet to Microsoft. At that point, Microsoft will automatically bill the luser some set fee, like $20.00 for each occurance of a bug that causes an application to crash, $40.00 for a Windows BSOD, $60.00 for a complete crash requiring a cold boot, and, say, $100.00 for a crash that causes loss of data, including hard disk crashes unrelated to software.

    This innovative technology would create tremendous value for Microsoft stockholders and employees of the company. Stockholders would make enormous profits on the millions upon millions of crashes that occur each day, compounded by the fact that Microsoft's software would inevitably get installed on more computers, being free of charge. Microsoft employees would not have to test or debug software as it is no longer a problem if the software malfunctions. This would shorten cycles, increase revenue and fulfill the enterprise integration strategy.

    In short, Bill, stop thinking like a hungry beggar on the street trying to get a few more pennies for a beer and start thinking like a CEO of some powerful company.

  • by NullProg (70833) on Friday July 25, 2003 @08:34PM (#6537427) Homepage Journal
    5% of our tires explode while using them. You can have replacements but we will charge you full price. By accepting our EULA, you agree to these terms. Do you Accept these terms?

    No means YES, Yes means YES.

    Enough Said

    Enjoy,
  • Error reporting? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PhlegmMaster (596165) on Saturday July 26, 2003 @01:21AM (#6538454)
    Did Gates ever concider that the other 95% of that statistic don't send in the error reports beacuse they know that other information it sends.

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