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Microsoft Code at Fault for Half of all Windows Crashes

CmdrTaco posted more than 11 years ago | from the thats-a-lotta-crashes dept.

Microsoft 819

Flamester writes "In a ZDNet Australia story, Microsoft is claiming that half of all MS Windows crashes are the fault of third party code, not their own. That is, according to Dr. Watson. The article also goes into the 'rigor in which MS tests their products before release'. "

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Uhm, right... (5, Insightful)

mjmalone (677326) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686209)

So they're saying that a poorly designed application can take down the entire operating system? The OS should be resilient enough to handle application crashes and keep on running, who cares who causes the crash? It's the OS's responsibility to handle it.

Also I would like to see where they got these numbers? If they are using the new 'feature' that notifies microsoft of application crashes then I'd be skeptical... If the OS crashes then the notices won't be sent to Microsoft.

Also, it is likely that MORE than half of the applications run on a Windows box are non-microsoft applications, that would mean that statistically MS apps crash more often than third party apps.

Re:Uhm, right... (5, Insightful)

TheSunborn (68004) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686235)

I think they are talking about drivers. With the current windows design any driver that crash have a good change of taking the os down with it.

Mod parent up and insightful (was:Re:Uhm, right..) (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6686253)

$topic. I'm outta points.. Always when I see something worth modding.

Re:Uhm, right... (0)

szo (7842) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686273)

which is still sad, especially for an os whose zealous followers claim it is derived from VMS...

Szo

Re:Uhm, right... (5, Insightful)

EnigmaticSource (649695) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686299)

...As with most other 'Modern' OS's... Hell, driver changes on my RSTS/E 10 [PDP-11/79] box would take down the whole system. [[Still having DECNET Nightmares]] Drivers just happen to be one of those things that must be 'just right' otherwise it'll probably take down the entire system for [[what seem to me]] to be obvious reasons.

Re:Uhm, right... (1)

TobiasSodergren (470677) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686397)

As can a poorly written kernel module i Linux?

At least I think mine could, if I were to write kernel modules.. ;)

Re:Uhm, right... (4, Insightful)

hobbesmaster (592205) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686405)

Bad drivers will Kernel Panic anything. That includes Linux. (I had to modify some files with Knoppix to get Slackware working my Inspiron 8100)

Re:Uhm, right... (5, Interesting)

elphkotm (574063) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686435)

Not QNX [qnx.com] ! QNX drivers run in protected mode. Hell yeah, Microkernel biznatches!

Re:Uhm, right... (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686424)

Sounds reasonable.

Another possibility is that many users are unable to distinguish between the OS and applications. If Word or IE crashes, people still complain about Windows 95/98/XP.

Re:Uhm, right... (2, Insightful)

Arker (91948) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686251)

Exactly.

It's nonsense to say that someone elses code is responsible for your OS crashing - if your OS wasn't at fault it wouldn't crash no matter what the third party code did.

Re:Uhm, right... (5, Interesting)

Ominous Coward (106252) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686283)

Also, it is likely that MORE than half of the applications run on a Windows box are non-microsoft applications, that would mean that statistically MS apps crash more often than third party apps.

Not that I really care to defend MS, but playing devil's advocate, MS apps would be more likely to crash than other apps because they're used more. Your average user of a Windows machine will use Outlook, IE, Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. What non-MS apps will the average user want to use? AOL/AIM, WinAmp, and Kazaa. There may be a few others, but none that will be used as often as the MS-created applications. If you never use the app, it can't crash the system.

Re:Uhm, right... (5, Informative)

andrewl6097 (633663) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686284)

Actually OS crashes do get sent. When you boot up, xp will recognize that it had just crashed and will offer to send the info.

SlashdotFuturesExchangewithGNU-Linux: +1,Patriotic (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6686291)



Rumsfeld accepts talk show host career Sept. 2003 140.00 +0.78

Canada declared as part of the
axis of evil Sept. 2004 101.34 +3.45

Bush seeks asylum in France
Sept. 2005: 110.23 -1.24

bin Laden found in Cheney's
bunker Dec. 2006 99.45 +2.38

Cheney found in bin Laden's 105.60 +1.10
bunker August 2004

Re:Uhm, right... (2, Interesting)

zoward (188110) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686310)

The problem is that you have to give third-party device drivers access to the ring-0 "core" of the OS in order for many of them to function properly. One bad device driver can indeed take down the OS, and given the number of poorly written device drivers out there, MS's claim may be valid.

Tell that to QNX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6686375)

Tell that to the folks at QNX, I'm sure they'd be interested.

Re:Uhm, right... (5, Informative)

JimDabell (42870) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686382)

So they're saying that a poorly designed application can take down the entire operating system?

I suspect that they are referring to drivers and other kernel-space code. The standard Microsoft weenie excuse for instability in the past has been "it's the drivers!", blaming the video drivers is a favourite.

Remember that Microsoft don't write most Windows drivers, they don't have to because their market share is so great, any hardware manufacturer who doesn't supply Windows drivers is not competitive.

I believe this is the reason why Microsoft introduced their "Microsoft signed drivers" that are supposed to guarantee Microsoft-level stability (!).

However, I have to laugh at Microsoft when they claim 50% of crashes aren't their fault. It's like an advert for a diet pill saying "Doesn't cause death in over 90% of people!".

Re:Uhm, right... (2, Informative)

Malc (1751) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686414)

They didn't say applications, they said code. From my experience, it's drivers that brings down my Win2K system, not applications. Well, Mozilla has been known to do it, but that goes back to the graphics drivers (kernel space) and related resources that Mozilla miss-manages. On a single-user desktop machine, an app that brings down the graphical shell is no better than an app that brings down the whole system, IMHO - I've still lost all my graphical apps and any unsaved work in them.

Let's be honest here, if it's bad drivers that are the main problem, they also affect Linux just as badly. I've seen sound drivers lock up my system many times under Linux. The difference between Linux and Windows is that more companies produce more drivers for Win32, and so the chances of a user encountering a problem are increased.

Re:Uhm, right... (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686426)

So they're saying that a poorly designed application can take down the entire operating system? The OS should be resilient enough to handle application crashes and keep on running, who cares who causes the crash? It's the OS's responsibility to handle it.

This is also usually the case with MS' NT-based operating systems. At least from my experiences. However, I can't say the same for Windows 9x, but all of those are more like leaked alpha builds. :-)

Re:Uhm, right... (5, Insightful)

aggieben (620937) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686433)

I can attest to this; I was a MS developer in the windows division for a while. I had to do stress testing all the time, and I found it quite common for XP to go days at a time during the stress tests, which I thought was pretty impressive. These tests make the system unusable, as it would with any system, but it didn't crash until it just couldn't allocate one more drop of memory or the disk controller just gave up or what have you.

Also, while looking over bugs in the database they keep, there were vastly more bugs filed as a result of a poorly behaving 3rd party application than because of the windows code itself. Also, most of these didn't cause crashes. XP does a pretty nice job of handling application crashes gracefully. All of this is from inside professional experience.

My personal expericence (e.g., outside the MS environment) has been than XP is as stable as any other machine I've got at home (Gentoo Linux, OpenBSD). In 2 years time, I've only seen 1 blue screen of death, and I've been using many different computers using with XP on them and I've installed in many times over that two years.

MS does do a good job of testing their windows code (can't speak for office --- those nerds need to learn a thing or two about threads and finally put clippy out of his pathetic misery). They test their code far more thoroughly than ANYONE who does open source including Red Hat, IBM and others.

Of course, all of this is not to be a MS zealot because that's not what I am. I'm much more of an OpenBSD guy. It is, however, to make this discussion a little more fair by sharing my inside experience and knowledge.

Headline should be: Microsoft Admits to Testing (3, Insightful)

gokubi (413425) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686215)

Microsoft emphasised that products such as Yukon and Exchange Server were undergoing thorough testing -- both internally and via independent third parties -- prior to their release to the market.

Hey, they're TESTING! Wow, they really are taking this trustworthy computing thing seriously. Mr. Chase may have said a similar thing if he hadn't been comped, as reported in the diclaimer at the bottom of the article:

Brendon Chase travelled to Tech Ed as a guest of Microsoft.

Hardhitting journalism.

Re:Headline should be: Microsoft Admits to Testing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6686268)

Hardhitting journalism.

At least he disclosed it. Sadly some journalists don't.

In other news... (3, Funny)

saskwach (589702) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686220)

Memory protection is a good thing.

1st post karma-whoring (4, Informative)

rokzy (687636) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686222)

Microsoft has laid the blame for half of all Windows crashes on third-party code.

Scott Charney, chief security strategist at Microsoft, told developers at the TechEd 2003 conference in Brisbane, that information collected by Dr Watson, the company's reporting tool, revealed that "half of all crashes in Windows are caused not by Microsoft code, but third-party code".

Charney's comments come as the company highlights the rigour with which it tests its own products before release. Microsoft emphasised that products such as Yukon and Exchange Server were undergoing thorough testing -- both internally and via independent third parties -- prior to their release to the market.

The company is employing root cause analysis and event sequence analysis procedures to scrub out the creation of sloppy code. The result is that individual developers have a high degree of accountability for the code they produce, while the systems and processes associated with code development are rigorously monitored.

Root cause analysis enables the company to check closely the work of individual developers. "If a developer has written vulnerable code, then we look at what else that developer has written and check it," Charney said

Event sequence analysis takes this further, analysing the reasons why the vulnerable code was written. Charney said it was not necessarily so they can sack whoever is writing vulnerable code, but find out the reasons why and how Microsoft improve their staff with training or more efficient processes.

As Charney made his remarks, Charles Sturt University announced they would be offering a Master of Information Systems Security degree including MCSE:Security industry certification.

Charney's also reinforced Microsoft's message to developers and network administrators that they needed to build secure applications and networks "from the ground up".

The chief security strategist's remarks have come at an unfortunate time, as mainstream and niche media outlets produce heavy coverage of the impact of the MSBlast worm, which has infiltrated corporate and enterprise networks worldwide.

Re:1st post karma-whoring (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6686278)

The chief security strategist's remarks have come at an unfortunate time, as mainstream and niche media outlets produce heavy coverage of the impact of the MSBlast worm, which has infiltrated corporate and enterprise networks worldwide.

See, third party code. I'm sorry I ever doubted them. Is my face ever red...etc etc etc.

Only half? (-1, Flamebait)

macdaddy357 (582412) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686224)

I thought their shitty code was responsible for the majority of windows crashes.

Re:Only half? (1)

ihummel (154369) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686262)

Actually, it is. It is responsible directly for half of all Windows crashes and indirectly for the vast majority of the rest. A good, modern OS should not be crought down by a program. Thus it is M$'s shitty code that allows that to happen.

funny (-1, Redundant)

Boromir son of Faram (645464) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686229)

Who else's fault would it be? Linus's? This is just more proof that Windows sucks because Microsoft sucks and vice versa. No wonder Linux is gaining so much ground in the desktop market.

Re:funny (0, Offtopic)

gfxguy (98788) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686303)

Was wondering about your SIG, but think it must be a troll for supernerds.

LINUX IS FAILING IN THE DESKTOP MARKET YOU FUCK (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6686323)

Re:funny (1)

gazbo (517111) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686358)

Uhhh, dude...

Boromir, son of Faramir

For someone who names themselves after characters in the film, you don't seem to know much about it, as you got it the wrong way round.

Uh huh. (4, Insightful)

ihummel (154369) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686231)

That sure is encouraging. What a wonderful operating system you have when half the time it crashes, the crash is caused by third party code. A properly designed OS shouldn't allow third party software to crash it. No OS is perfect, but half the time is just silly.

John Dvorak has some interesting crash stats... (5, Informative)

sphealey (2855) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686232)

John Dvorak developed some interesting stats on XP crashes [pcmag.com] based on information given in a speech by Bill Gates. He works out that there are 25 millions blue screen crashes of XP per day. Interesting read. Also raises the question of exactly what happens to all those "crash reports".

sPh

Re:John Dvorak has some interesting crash stats... (1, Insightful)

jpmorgan (517966) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686326)

Yes, but John Dvorak doesn't understand basic statistics.

Gates said that 5 percent of Windows machines crash, on average, twice daily. Put another way, this means that 10 percent of Windows machines crash every day, or any given machine will crash about three times a month. Since Bill is a math junkie, I have to assume this number is real and based on something other than a phone survey.

Nice one there, John. Bill Gates might be a math junkie, but it's obvious you're not.

Re:John Dvorak has some interesting crash stats... (1)

sphealey (2855) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686415)

Gates said that 5 percent of Windows machines crash, on average, twice daily. Put another way, this means that 10 percent of Windows machines crash every day, or any given machine will crash about three times a month.
I noticed that, and it bugged me as well (ha ha).

However, although I agree that that two statistics would have different distributions, wouldn't the simple total of crashes be the same? E.g.

1,000,000 machines * 0.05 * 2 reboots/machine-day = 100,000 reboots/day

1,000,000 machines * 0.10 * 1 reboot/machine-day = 100,000 reboots/day

Or am I missing something?

sPh

Re:John Dvorak has some interesting crash stats... (1)

UTPinky (472296) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686360)

what happens to all those "crash reports"

[ms_guy@redmond ~]$ get_crash_reports > /dev/null

Re:John Dvorak has some interesting crash stats... (1)

wagemonkey (595840) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686367)

John Dvorak developed some interesting stats on XP crashes based on information given in a speech by Bill Gates. He works out that there are 25 millions blue screen crashes of XP per day. Interesting read. Also raises the question of exactly what happens to all those "crash reports".
Well if it was linux/unix I'd say '>/dev/null'. Of course they may be running a linux/unix box to handle the volume of data they're getting...

And this latest report.... (1)

JaJ_D (652372) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686234)

....is undertaken by consultants with the the letters "I" and "Q" and the number 25!

Consultants with too much time on their hands!!!

Suppose we should be greatful they ain't breading

:-]

Jaj

Re:And this latest report.... (1)

The Other White Boy (626206) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686261)

mmmm...breading...

Duh (1)

macshune (628296) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686236)

Like it would be someone else's code? C'mon people! We should know better!

Well, technically speaking, (4, Funny)

Mordant (138460) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686238)

I guess MSBLASTER, Code Red, Nimda, SQL Slammer, etc. could be considered 'third-party code'. ;>

Re:Well, technically speaking, (1)

aliens (90441) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686365)

You know, I wouldn't doubt that in the least. They're saying that their code doesn't crash itself. That doesn't mean that when it isn't flawed from the outside.

A model of closed source (4, Insightful)

Neil Watson (60859) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686244)

Assuming this is true, wouldn't this be an example of how closed source can contribute to programming mistakes? If developers had more access to the OS source could wouldn't they be less likely to affect it adversly with bad code?

Re:A model of closed source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6686364)

Mod the parent comment up please. It may be short, but it is very succinct!

JP

Re:A model of closed source (4, Interesting)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686394)

There is no advantage to either. Remember the filesystem-corrupting Linux kernel release? That was a pretty big blunder...

Is Microsoft really to blame? (-1)

Yakov Smirnoff (631649) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686246)

In Soviet Russia, bad code at fault for Microsoft.

Headline is wrong (1)

InfinityWpi (175421) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686247)

Shouldn't the headline read "Third-Party Code Responsible For Half Of All Windows Crashes"? Or at the very least, "Microsoft Code -not- responsible for half of all Windows crashes"? Your bias is showing, guys...

Re:Headline is wrong (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686270)

They are probably just being snarky

Re:Headline is wrong (1)

MonTemplar (174120) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686280)

And you're surprised by this revelation? :-)

Re:Headline is wrong (-1)

Yakov Smirnoff (631649) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686329)

To some people the glass is half full, to other's it's half empty. In actual fact it doesn't matter how you say it because it means the exact same thing.

Re:Headline is wrong (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686337)

As I read it, the headline is still accurate. :)

Re:Headline is wrong (1)

Cro Magnon (467622) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686395)

Actually, the headline, though biased, is correct. If non-Microsoft code is responsible for half the crashes, then by definition, Microsoft is responsible for half the crashes.

Re:Headline is wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6686436)

As if it was hidden before? No0b.

Dr. Watson catches OS crashes, not app crashes (5, Interesting)

Dancin_Santa (265275) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686248)

So 50% of all system crashes are caused by 3rd party drivers and the other 50% are caused by Microsoft code.

Sounds bad, but compared to the number of application crashes, the number of actual OS crashes is infinitesimal.

what's the other half then (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6686254)

If half of all windows crashes are caused by third party apps, that still means that the other half is solely microsoft's fault.

These numbers lie and are (5, Funny)

teamhasnoi (554944) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686255)

not to be believed! It is well known that Dr. Watson has a weakness for liquor, and fraternizes with a known cocaine addict.

His conclusions are suspect, and so are his motives. It's elementary, really. Bill G should get Magnum P.I. or Simon and Simon to do this investigation.

And by a bit o' maths.... (1)

deepchasm (522082) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686256)

Microsoft is claiming that half of all MS Windows crashes are the fault of third party code

And the other half....

That's still an awful lot of crashes.

how many (1)

Councilor Hart (673770) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686434)

Suppose that the machine crashes only four times.
So what if half are caused by MS. Four crashes aren't that bad.

Indeed, the above is meaningless, as is saying half of the crashes are caused by MS.

At the very least, at least tell how many times it crashed in how many years.
Two crashes a day is worst then a 500 crashes in 10 years.
Or perhaps the /. crowd thinks that windows should be crashfree.
I am not much of a computer nerd and I don't know the reason why my machines crashes when they do. But Windows, mac os x and linux have crashed under my hands. I don't expect a computer to be crashfree - in the far future perhaps - so I like to know too; how many times in how many years.

Oh, jeez (1)

BWJones (18351) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686263)

Microsoft is claiming that half of all MS Windows crashes are the fault of third party code, not their own.

Ha.....thbbbt!.....Mwaaa haaa haaa haaa haa ha ha!

Heeeee he haa ha ha ha. *sniff*

*snort!* Ha ha ha ha hee ha ha.......

He wipes the tears from his eyes as he says, "you know, allowing an application to crash the OS should not happen no matter how bad the application crash. Allowing that to happen is the fault of the OS."

SCO is responsible... (4, Funny)

macshune (628296) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686272)

SCO is responsible for the other half of crappy windows code. This is why Microsoft was so eager to buy a license.

In other news... (1)

graphicartist82 (462767) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686275)

... 54% of all statistics are made up on a whim.

incorrect heading, again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6686276)

taco assumes that since 3rd party code causes half the crashes in windows, ms code must cause the other half? what about hardware problems? or the user doing something stupid?

if you guys were actually journalists...

Re:incorrect heading, again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6686355)

if hardware peripherals can cause your OS to crash, that's a problem with the way you wrote your OS... or if stupid users cause a crash ... same deal.

Ring 0, Ring 3? (4, Interesting)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686277)

Or really just One Ring to rule them all? An application in a protected-mode OS (running in Ring 3 of the x86 chip) can't touch kernel space (Ring 0). Now, if an OS vendor does things like put its GUI subsystem in Ring 3 (cough, NT, cough), and you let 3rd party people write drivers that 5uXX0r5, then yes, you can have a case where 3rd party code causes crashes. BUT YOU (MS) PUT THE GDI SUBSYSTEM IN USER SPACE!
If the OS design is so poor, or hacks and compromises are made for gaming performance at the expense of stability, then you can't really complain when the system goes unstable.

Third party code- what kind? (5, Interesting)

k98sven (324383) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686282)

What kind of third-party code are they talking about here?
Userland applications or device drivers?

As so many others undoubtedly already have remarked, an application, however shoddily written,
should not bring down the whole OS.

If they're talking device drivers.. well, that's a different issue entirely.

On the other hand, if this is the case, what the heck is that MS certification process for?

Non-Microsoft programs, or licensed code? (1)

Rubel (121009) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686285)

I assumed on first reading it that they meant third-party code they'd licensed to include in Windows, like so many of their utilities and whatnot.

The article isn't clear, though.

Excuse me, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6686287)

only half of them? That's pathetic.

We will see... (1)

koi88 (640490) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686288)

When, in the near future, private users are only running MS programs, because the OS scares them with losing guarantee and health and other things if they try to install other apps, they can only crash by MS' program's fault.
Of course, if IE crashes it can still be the web sites fault, when Word crashes it will be a wrong word document's fault...

So... (5, Funny)

useosx (693652) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686290)

...Slashdot poll: Is the cup half full or half empty?

Curious (1)

mao che minh (611166) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686293)

When programs (even large ones like Apache and XFree86) crash in Linux, UNIX, *BSD, or Macintosh, rarely do they take down the entire operating system.

Wow, they admitted that their operating system is so bad, that chances are if a program crashes, so will the operating system. Amazing.

Is the other half caused by the user? (1)

willy134 (682318) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686295)

They state that half of them come from poorly written code. I bet somewhere they say the other half come from user error. Heaven forbid an operating system to manage the errors without blue screening.

Yesterday my usb mouse somehow died in linux, did I have to restart---no. I just removed the usbmouse from the modules and then restarted it. And it worked again.

What about Office etc? (1)

rehabdoll (221029) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686296)

Do they count Office as a "third party app."?

In my experience, third party apps & crappy drivers are responsible for 95% of my crashes, atleast since i switched to win2k. Win95/98 on the other hand..

I laughed when I first read the title (1)

Stone316 (629009) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686297)

of that submission. I dunno why but of course Microsoft is responsible for half of the 'crashes', they wrote the code!

Maybe its that torn muscle in my shoulder but I found it funny.

Blame it on SCO (1)

thames (558443) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686298)

Maybe Microsoft will sue SCO for breaking there products...
SCO is likely to have code in the Microsoft codebase, or that's what the will claim anyway

Geez, what a two-sided statement... (4, Insightful)

skermit (451840) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686300)

What he just admitted is that HALF of ALL crashes are Microsoft OS related. Every application that runs on a account for more than let's say 5% or 6% of total crashes, but Microsoft still has their full 50% share. That's STUPID-speak on his part. Way to instill company pride by shooting yourself in the foot, and then putting it in your mouth.

MS responsible for 100% of crashes (3, Insightful)

swordgeek (112599) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686304)

There is only one way 3rd party software can crash an OS: If the OS is so hopelessly broken that it gives that much control to applications.

Microsoft's bad coding is responsible for 50% of their crashes, by their own admission. Their inherently flawed OS structure is responsible for allowing the other 50% to happen.

(This of course doesn't address hardware related issues--all I can say is that MS software is VERY sensitive to borderline hardware)

50% is still a failing grade (1)

dirtmerchant (162306) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686307)

So the other half are still the fault of Windows? That's still a pretty piss poor track record.

Lines of code (5, Funny)

rf0 (159958) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686308)

I was googling for the 4 lines of C code that use to crash windows but came across this [keepersoflists.org]

Rus

robbIE faulted for rejecting planet/population.. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6686312)

rescue program (formerly unknown as the oil for babies effort).

that right, using va lairIE's infactdead PostBlock(tm) devise, plus pretending the only thing that really matters is monIE, is not helpful. it's ok though, the program can/will succeed with, or without you. makes no difference to us.

mynuts won: annoying to the perpetrators/profiteers of evile?

you can pretend all you want. our advise is to be as far away from the walking dead contingent as possible, when the big flash occurs. you wouldn't want to get any of that evile on you.

as to the free unlimited energy plan, as the lights come up, more&more folks will stop being misled into sucking up more&more of the infant killing barrolls of crudeness, & learn that it's more than ok to use newclear power generated by natural (hydro, solar, etc...)methods. of course more information about not wasting anything/behaving less frivolously is bound to show up, here&there.

cyphering how many babies it costs for a barroll of crudeness, we've decided to cut back, a lot, on wasteful things like giving monIE to felons, to help them destroy the planet/population.

no matter. the #1 task is planet/population rescue. the lights are coming up. we're in crisis mode. you can help.

the unlimited power (such as has never been seen before) is freely available to all, with the possible exception of the aforementioned walking dead.

consult with/trust in yOUR creator. more breathing. vote with yOUR wallet. seek others of non-aggressive intentions/behaviours. that's the spirit, moving you.

pay no heed/monIE to the greed/fear based walking dead.

each harmed innocent carries with it a bad toll. it will be repaid by you/us. the Godless felons will not be available to make reparations.

pay attention. that's definitely affordable, plus you might develop skills which could prevent you from being misled any further by phonIE ?pr? ?firm? generated misinformation.

good work so far. there's still much to be done. see you there. tell 'em robbIE.

the rest of the wwworld is laughing/crying at/for US in sympathy/disgust, as we fall/jump into the daze of the georgewellian corepirate nazi life0cide, whilst criticizing their ip gangsters, which are also members of the walking dead.

Implict logic (1)

echomadman (660938) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686315)

rofl at title
Microsoft Code at Fault for Half of all Windows Crashes

Slow down... (1)

Doesn't_Comment_Code (692510) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686324)

Wait a second, we designed this OS to run the Desktop... you know, My Documents , My Music... that stuff. We had no idea you were going to be running applications on it!

This calls for a whole new design phase.

In other news... (1)

Alkarismi (48631) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686328)

Hospital defends record by stating it only caused 50% of its patients deaths!

I guess we should all stop whining about Microsoft instability then...

Anyone see a problem here? (1)

agent dero (680753) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686332)

"Gates said that 5 percent of Windows machines crash, on average, twice daily. Put another way, this means that 10 percent of Windows machines crash every day, or any given machine will crash about three times a month"

It's the 21st Century, doesn't this seem a little out dated? I reboot my Macintosh once.....once...a month? I reboot my FreeBSD box only when I am switching out hardware.

How can an OS that costs so damn much crash so often? How can this be possible in a world with super-sonic jets, Segways, super-computers in a 24U enclosure, how does that work?

Re:Anyone see a problem here? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6686378)

Bad use of statistics.

Could be the same faulty hardware/weird driver combo 5% of all Windows machines that are crashing.

This implies.. (1)

deadmongrel (621467) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686334)

well this simply implies that the other half of crashes occur because of M$' own faulty code.

Take your own medicine? (4, Insightful)

interactive_civilian (205158) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686344)

From the article:
Charney's also reinforced Microsoft's message to developers and network administrators that they needed to build secure applications and networks "from the ground up".
Perhaps Microsoft should take some of their own advice...I'm thinking with pretty much their entire product line...

Would this be... (1)

st0rmshad0w (412661) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686345)

Ok would this be 3rd party code that gets installed after MS stuff, or the 3rd party code that MS swallows up as they buy whatever seems nice and absorb it into the mire of their own code?

So what? (1)

Chess_the_cat (653159) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686350)

I've been running XP ever since it was released and I've maybe seen it crash twice. And yeah, it's XP Home. Now I know that the first time it crashed it was the fault of MS and the second time was the fault of someone else. At any rate it's not a big deal and you'll be hard pressed to find XP users who will think that it is.

Clarification of 'rigor' (5, Funny)

Obsequious (28966) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686353)

'rigor in which MS tests their products before release'.

Hmm... What kind of 'rigor' is that, again? Rigor mortis?

Sounds about right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6686354)


don't forget MS have a handy bug reporting tool that is enabled by default, if an application crashes you get a dialog popup that offers to send the crash data to MS along with a captue of what was running in memory at the time, OS hardware details etc in fact all the data that a programmer would want to debug or identify the problem (even a binary mem grab is saved in the windows directory (debug.dmp) i believe its called, good idea but it would be better if they released the data on request to the offending application manufacturer, MS have the facilities to collect vast amounts of data but its worthless if it makes them look stupid and offers nothing back to the creator so he could fix it.

has Linux got a similar feature or is it a case of "you have to believe me" ?

be good if there was a centralised crash reporting centre (for all OS's) that correlated the info accuratly

They should steal better code (5, Funny)

bugfixer (608434) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686361)

So I guess all of the crashes that I have experienced with Inernet Explorer can be blamed on the the third party software they stole from the University of California and Eolas Technologies Inc.

mac problems help! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6686366)

I've been sitting here at my freelance gig in front of a Mac (a 8600/300 w/64 Megs of RAM) for about 20 minutes now while it attempts to copy a 17 Meg file from one folder on the hard drive to another folder. 20 minutes. At home, on my Pentium Pro 200 running NT 4, which by all standards should be a lot slower than this Mac, the same operation would take about 2 minutes. If that.

In addition, during this file transfer, Netscape will not work. And everything else has ground to a halt. Even BBEdit Lite is straining to keep up as I type this.

I won't bore you with the laundry list of other problems that I've encountered while working on various Macs, but suffice it to say there have been many, not the least of which is I've never seen a Mac that has run faster than its Wintel counterpart, despite the Macs' faster chip architecture. My 486/66 with 8 megs of ram runs faster than this 300 mhz machine at times. From a productivity standpoint, I don't get how people can claim that the Macintosh is a superior machine.

Mac addicts, flame me if you'd like, but I'd rather hear some intelligent reasons why anyone would choose to use a Mac over other faster, cheaper, more stable systems.

Being Picky (2, Insightful)

quantaman (517394) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686370)

Scott Charney, chief security strategist at Microsoft, told developers at the TechEd 2003 conference in Brisbane, that information collected by Dr Watson, the company's reporting tool, revealed that "half of all crashes in Windows are caused not by Microsoft code, but third-party code".

It's worded suspiciously but I don't think necessarily means the crashes are due to windows code. Aren't hardware issues responsible for a significant amount of crashes as well? Are they being counted in the 50% that belongs to driver problems and other third party code or are they counted with the windows problems.

that's what I call a tactic (1)

invalid_argument (697851) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686381)

So, people will be forced to buy programs coded by M$ if they want to keep teir PC running?
This could be a tactic(windows hidden settings [3dvelocity.com]

proof of the pudding is in the eating (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6686392)

When Microsoft issues a report like this, it reminds me of that apocryphal story about some aeronautical engineers using all of their theories and formulae to prove that a bumble bee can't fly.

We have eyes to see with, and ears to hear with. A bumble bee does fly. All the Microsoft white papers and theories can not make me discount what I observe in real life.

old news.... (2, Funny)

B5_geek (638928) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686398)

1944 ... Atomic bomb is dropped
1969 ... man sets foot on the moon
1994 ... IBM releases OS/2 Warp v3 (Apps unable to corrupt/crash the OS)
2003 ... Microsoft finally admits that half of all crashes are their fault

blah blah ... *nix good ...
blah blah ... Mac good ...
blah blah ... yes windows does suck.

=)

What are you implying? (2, Funny)

AbstracTus (576474) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686400)

Are you implying that my hardware is really ok and not responsible for all these crashes? *gasp*

Half? Why not ALL? (1)

lightspawn (155347) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686402)

Isn't it an operating system's responsibility to make sure the system does not crash when a process misbehaves?

Except for hardware malfunctions (which I bet are responsible for less than, say, 5%) How can any Windows crash NOT be microsoft's fault?

Buy 'em one of these!!! (2, Funny)

SmurfButcher Bob (313810) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686410)

Half full mug [despair.com]

Why? (1)

Sir Rhosys (84459) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686428)

Why are they putting third-party code in their operating system?

It's either that or they allow applications to access the OS's memory and that would just be plain asinine AND, technically, still their fault so the 50% statement goes out the friggin window. So it can't be that.

You're looking at this all wrong (1)

Chairboy (88841) | more than 11 years ago | (#6686430)

The amazing thing is that code this complex doesn't crash more!

Microsoft has a really tough job. Unlike Linux, MS can't rely on all programmers to be 30-40 year old bearded guys with CS degrees. There are people working in software development for Windows that are hiding copies of 'Advanced Windows' by Jeffrey Richter that they crib subs out of all day without really understanding their programs.

The OS is far from perfect, but I'd say that the quality of it overcomes the design issues regularily.
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