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Why the blue screen of death no longer plagues Windows users

Remember the blue screen of death, a Windows PC's way of telling you it had suffered an error so catastrophic it couldn't carry on anymore? In recent years sightings of the BSOD have become less common in Windows operating systems, as Microsoft has stamped out some of the rogue code commonly responsible. 
At a recent event in Cambridge Microsoft talked about how it had reduced misbehaving code in its operating system, using automated tools and a huge amount of crash reports from Windows XP users.
The main cause of crashes in Windows XP was device drivers, which were responsible for some 85 percent of hiccups in the OS. Drivers are the code that allow an operating system to control a hardware device, such as a video card, handling commands between the device and the core of an operating system, the kernel.
Drivers can be particularly difficult to debug, as their code will be written by different companies and is generally not open source, so is opaque to Microsoft. Their interactions can also be rather complex, with drivers commonly interoperating with a stack of other drivers.
"There's an exponentially growing number of device drivers in the ecosystem and they're written typically not by Microsoft but by our partners," said Byron Cook, principal researcher at Microsoft Research lab in Cambridge and manager of Microsoft's Programming Principles and Tools group.

"There are a number of rules that these systems must adhere to, otherwise the whole system is going to crash."

Read more: ZDNet



Jul 10 2014 01:14 PM

I call BS on this. I'm getting them five and six times each day!