In a surprise announcement today, Microsoft President Steve Ballmer revealed that the Redmond-based company will allow computer resellers and end-users to customize the appearance of the Blue Screen of Death BSOD), the screen that displays when the Windows operating system crashes. The move comes as the result of numerous focus groups and customer surveys done by Microsoft. Thousands of Microsoft customers were asked, "What do you spend the most time doing on your computer?" A surprising number of respondents said, "Staring at a Blue Screen of Death." At 54 percent, it was the top answer, beating the second place answer "Downloading XXXScans" by an easy 12 points. "We immediately recognized this as a great opportunity for ourselves, our channel partners, and especially our customers," explained the excited Ballmer to a room full of reporters. Immense video displays were used to show images of the new customizable BSOD screen side-by-side with the older static version. Users can select from a collection of "BSOD Themes," allowing them to instead have a Mauve Screen of Death or even a Paisley Screen of Death. Graphics and multimedia content can now be incorporated into the screen, making the BSOD the perfect conduit for delivering product information and entertainment to Windows users. The BSOD is by far the most recognized feature of the Windows operating system, and as a result, Microsoft has historically insisted on total control over its look and feel. This recent departure from that policy reflects Microsoft's recognition of the Windows desktop itself as the "ultimate information portal." By default, the new BSOD will be configured to show a random selection of Microsoft product information whenever the system crashes. Microsoft channel partners can negotiate with Microsoft for the right to customize the BSOD on systems they ship. Major computer resellers such as Compaq, Gateway, and Dell are already lining up for premier placement on the new and improved BSOD. Ballmer concluded by getting a dig in against the Open Source community. "This just goes to show that Microsoft continues to innovate at a much faster pace than open source. I have yet to see any evidence that Linux even has a BSOD, let alone a customizable one." Date: Thu, 04 May 2000 01:12:06 -0500 From: Thad Phetteplace
X-Accept-Language: en To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: BSOD Article Hello Kathy, While surfing the web, I noticed that the "Microsoft Announces Improved BSOD" article that I wrote for Segfault a while back has been copied and reprinted on about a zillion different web pages on the net. I think that is majorly cool! I've also noted that a lot of people have asked "who the hell originally wrote this thing?" That would be me. I submitted it to segfault a couple of years ago but forgot to sign my name at the end of it. I'm sending this message out to webmasters who have copied the original article (or its minor emailed variations) in case they want to provide proper attribution. No big deal if you don't want to... though it would do my ego no end of good to see may name plastered all over the web. :-) The URL: http://www.dotparagon.com/humor/bsd.html Thanks, Thad Phetteplace mailto:email@example.com P.S. The original segfault article is signed with my email address, so it is possible to verify that I am the author.
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