Steve Ballmer wrote Windows’ ubiquitous ‘Blue Screen of Death’ message

“Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer wrote the text for the original Blue Screen of Death,” Tom Warren reports for The Verge.

“Microsoft developer Raymond Chen revealed the surprising fact in a blog post earlier this week, detailing Ballmer’s dissatisfaction with the original text that flashed up when a program wasn’t responding in Windows 3.1,” Warren reports. “Ballmer was head of the systems division at the time, Chen recalls, and when he visited the Windows team he thought the wording didn’t ‘sound right’ for the ctrl+alt+del dialogue.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It’s entirely appropriate that Ballmer wrote Windows’ oft-seen BSOD text since he turned out to be Microsoft’s own BSOD: Bald Supervisor of Delusion.

Microsoft Windows. A pox on computing for nearly three decades. Die, Windows, die!

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35 Comments

        1. BSOD = Ballmer School Of Design
          BSOD = Better Solutions Offered Defeated
          BSOD = Ballmer Sadism Of Despair
          BSOD = Better Scram Outta Dere
          BSOD = Bitter Screams Of Dying
          BSOD = Blowhard System OS Disease
          BSOD = Buzzards Swooping Over Display
          BSOD = Billions Suffering OS Disorder
          Etc., etc., etc….

  1. I hate to be pedantic, but Ballmer wrote the “Ctrl+Alt+Del” message, not the BSOD message. The article from the Verge is based on this blog post:
    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/oldnewthing/archive/2014/09/02/10554253.aspx
    It’s true that both messages share a lot of common text. However it is unclear what Ballmer’s contribution exactly was, and how much or little it changed the “Ctrl+Alt+Del” message.
    I wouldn’t be surprised either way if Ballmer was responsible for the BSOD message entirely, or merely slightly tweaked the “Ctrl+Alt+Del” message only. But the source material doesn’t say.

  2. To be honest, I have yet to see the Windows 8 BSOD and I’ve been using it since launch.

    It’s still Windows…still slows down after a few months of use, still vulnerable to drive-by browser downloads and self-installing malware…but at least I don’t see the blue screen anymore.

    1. That’s because windows 7 now takes a snapshot of you screen and then shows it while it reboots in the background. The user just thinks it froze for a few minutes which is completely normal and acceptable behaviour according to any IT doofus.

    2. It’s been far more stable since windows 7 due to the design of the driver modes etc. Most BSODs are caused by 3rd part drivers and now they cannot bring the kernel down when they crash.
      Also There are ways of preventing the o/s from slowing down over time. I kept my xp and now win 7 rigs lean and fast forever and never have this problem. I’ve also never had any malware virus issues that Mac users love to harp on.

  3. I am a Apple fan. OS X is the best operating system, rock stable and great functionality. Having said that, I don’t want Windows to fail. Competition makes everyone better. I hope Microsoft gets their act together (a major task). I hope Nadella is up to the task. He is an order of magnitude better than Ballmer but that still is a low bar.

      1. Indeed, the original Macintosh System and Finder set a fairly high bar with approximately zero competition in its day. Same with iOS. I think we can trust Apple to keep pushing into new territory while improving on the old for many decades to come, even without others copying and stealing from them. (There’s otherwise no competition whatsoever!)

    1. I agree to your comment on OSX and competition. Without competition it will not keep Apple on their feet and someone can sneak in and pull the rug out from under them like maybe Linux. But, I am on the fence with her. She really really has to work hard to bring Microsoft back to at least to half or three quarters to what Microsoft was under Gates.

    1. Yes but he needs to be do it open mouthed with a bucket under his chin to collect the slobber as he tries to digest the wordy sentences in front of him. He went through two and a half buckets trying to read Stephen Elop’s magnum opus ‘Hi there’ memo.

  4. Was in a Best Buy yesterday (Don’t laugh, I needed a MiniDisplay Port to HDMI adapter) and went over by the computers to see if anybody is buying the dreaded Windows 8 craptops.

    There was only ONE GUY over there and he was probably in his early-mid 60s, looking to replace his XP desktop that was apparently on life support. The customer had asked me about the Windows 8 laptops and I informed him I have to this day seen 1 person who paid for a Windows 8 laptop and personally used Macs. As the sales guy started his Windows pitch, I bluntly asked him how many of these things were actually selling and I got a very distressed look.

    He had then told the guy that he needed a Windows PC to run Excel- apparently the main reason he has a computer- and I told the guy that that simply was not true. I proceeded to show him how he could get Excel on a Macintosh, use Office online or use (possibly depending upon his needs) Numbers on a Macintosh. The now very distressed sales guy began to backpedal.

    The older gentleman left with a brand new Macintosh and links to find all the software he would need once he got home and online. I also left him with my phone in case he need help.

    That is how Windows fades away- one customer at a time.

    1. I’m with ya! My husband saw a stressed out PC person on FB inquiring about Apple and he PM’d them my eMail address! Another switcher for me today. They are VERY excited to get their first Mac, they have SO had it with pop ups and the rest of the Bullshit System Of Devices. Going for an iMac and we’ll order them a nice economical Refurb this weekend. 🙂 I LOVE IT. I’ve lost count of how many switchers I’ve helped. Yes, one Mac at a time.

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