Anyone who uses XP will be familiar with the dialog boxes that pop up whenever the software encounters an error. These provide you with the chance to report the problem back to Microsoft.
We have to admit that when we first saw this feature we thought that its was possible these bugs would disappear into a void somewhere in the software maker's Redmond HQ. But our cynicism has proved unfounded as Microsoft head honcho Steve Ballmer claims these messages could be helping to turn Windows into a crash-free zone.
The error reporting software, called Watson, has revealed some surprising facts according to a letter sent by Ballmer to some Microsoft customers, reports the New York Times. He said that it has found that one percent of software errors cause 50 percent of computer crashes. So far the company has received error reports on around half a million software programs.
Ballmer also likens his job to a previous role he held, marketing cake mixes for Procter & Gamble: "Satisfying customers is what it's all about with technology products too," he explained. Although we think he probably had an easier job extolling the virtues of chocolate brownies.
While Microsoft is working on coming up with bug free products, Ballmer also pointed out how hard this task was becoming as software gets more complex. "Even a relatively simple software product today has millions of lines of code that provide many places for bugs to hide".