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Windows 2000 Has 65,000+ Bugs

HeUnique posted more than 14 years ago | from the surprised? dept.

Microsoft 596

According to a story on ZDNET, Sm@rt Reseller got an internal MS memo that says Windows 2000 has 63,000 "defects" (if you read the article the number goes up to 65,000+ bugs), and that's the same Windows that will be out on Feb. 17! Is this what MS suggests putting on people's workstations and installing on production servers? What do you think?

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bleargh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1282591)

works pretty well for me... drivers lick penis though....

And yet people are worried about *nix DDos attacks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1282592)

These 63000 defects could easily turn into 63000 holes into the system. I know that some of these bugs could have nothing to do with that, but I'm sure -some- do. Oh ya, I'd love to see Microsoft talk about Linux's supposed shoddy support now.

I would just like to announce... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1282595)

...that Nastard licked my wang.

why 65,000 bugs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1282641)

Microsoft just poured a bowl of hot grits down its pants!


Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1282644)

"Our goal for the next release of Windows 2000 is to have zero bugs. The only way this happens is if you take it upon yourselves to fix the bugs that should be fixed, and close the bugs that should be closed," continued Lucovsky in his note to the development team.

Hey yo Mr. Lucovsky that there ain't going to work let me suggest...umm...opening your source!!!

Testing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1282661)

I'm no fan of Microsoft, but I have to admit that I find this rather impressive. I've heard before that MS does a lot of testing. This seems to indicate that they really do. How many software systems do you know of that have so many known bugs?

Underflow error? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1282664)

Maybe they fixed more bugs than they thought they had, and underflowed the counter. That 65,000 number is suspiciously close to a power of 2...


Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1282667)


The actual number of bugs... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1282669)

I heard the actual number of bugs was 66666 but they brought it down to 65536 so far!

"What do you think"?! What the fuck? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1282689)

What do you THINK we fucking think? It's goddamn Slashdot! This is an article about bugs in Windows. Jesus, why even bother?

Does anybody have any fucking doubts whatsoever about what's going to get posted here? "Yadda yadda Open Source Magic Bullet Fixes All Bugs yadda yadda Windows Is Not Secure yadda yadda Borg Darth Vader yadda yadda."

It's all so predictable, it's not even worth trolling.

Re:Spelling. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1282696)

If only half of them are bugs, the thing is still a unit of excrement.

Would you buy a car with 30000 defects? 3000? 300?

And don't give me this crap about "The code is so big, it is a tribute to the genius of MS that it runs at all". What the hell were MS thinking when they let it get out of control? This just goes to show MS coders are total MORONS!. How could anyone possibly make something so BAD? It is time for MS to throw the whole Win2K thing away, just port Office to Linux, and then commit mass Hari-kiri.

I'm sure a few of the MS-weenies will mark me down for flamebait. But unpopular or not, the truth is still the truth. What other explanation is there for this poor level of MS quality!

Stupid Inaccurate Article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1282716)

Article is totally bogus in the way it inflates the bug count. Any time somone says "bugbug" in a comment, that is counted as a bug. Rubbish. That is just the MS way of drawing the next engineer's attention to something that could be improved, like for instance that truncating a displayed string with "..." would be beter than just cutting it off when drawn. Also anything that got in the bug database and then got postponed, is classed as a bug. These are largely things like "window should be 2 pixels to the left", or requests for a new feature ("name entry field should support undo"), ("I don't like that icon"). If you did all these tiny insignificant changes you'd never ship, and most of them are things that are a matter of opinion anyway. Windows 2000 is actually pretty good. I'm running it on an aged Pentium Pro, and it's working great. Has never crashed on me in fact. Those guys worked really hard on it. It is not shipping with any significant number of "real" bugs. If Linux dudes think otherwise, they have their heads in the sand. This number is just an indication that the coders were thorough in noting places to improve, and the test team were really thorough in flagging possibly improvements. Crashing, data corrupting, serious bugs are treated really seriously, and they totally get fixed before things are allowed to ship.

Re:Good poll? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1282717)

It *is* unbiased.

Biased would be:

"Are you a brainless idiot and going to waste money for a horrible buggy piece of Microsoft crapware?"

Re:"What do you think"?! What the fuck? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1282730)

I agree. Hell, why don't they bitch about the security holes in Linux? What about the sloppy coding in the Linux kernel? Why not tell all your little readers about that? This anti-Microsoft propaganda is no better than the marketing tactics Microsoft themselves use.

I don't know why I even bother anymore. . .

Re:Bogus article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1282735)

Sure, just give us the source to look at.


Never mind. I guess MS is the only one who knows what the bugs are.

The rest of us (you know, the ones who PAY for W2K) will just have to find them by trial and error (grin).

MS innovates the Wheel...


As a Cube

Re:"What do you think"?! What the fuck? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1282736)

This has to be one of the funniest posts I've ever seen on Slashdot. I can't quite figure out why, other that perhaps it's just sooo true. :)

Re:"What do you think"?! What the fuck? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1282737)

Hey, you stupid MSoftie, get back to work on those bugs, or we will tell your manager you are wasting time on /.

efficiency (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1282743)

While problems with efficiency might seem like a small detail, this is M$ we're talking about. They're code is usually pretty unefficient to begin with. Anyone remember trying to using Word 6.0 on a 386? You move the mouse, and wait 10 minutes? Because W$ does relatively little compared to most real OS's (okay, flaimbait), and computers have gotten really fast, its usually not noticable. However, if the code is performing worst than it usually does.. jesus.

Re:Windows 2000 has over 63,000 bugs (corrected) (1)

HeUnique (187) | more than 14 years ago | (#1282756)

Well, KEEP reading... Overall, there are more than 65,000 "potential issues" that could emerge as problems, as discovered by Microsoft's Prefix tool. Microsoft is estimating that 28,000 of these are likely to be "real" problems.

From my past experience, I know that MS underestimate bugs, so I really think that "potential issues" are bugs. Maybe not a serious ones, but still - its bugs..

No No've got it all wrong (1)

copito (1846) | more than 14 years ago | (#1282773)

The problem isn't that there are too many bugs in W2K, but that there are too few. To understand this consider the following Microsoft algorithm for bug tracking (patent pending).

unsigned int bugCount=0;
for(int i=0; i<LINES_OF_CODE; i++)
bugCount += isBuggy(line[i]) ? +1 : -1;

Most developers would be satisfied with a bug count in the low hundreds for a project the size of W2K. Microsoft, however has outdone itself. W2K actually has a NEGATIVE NUMBER OF BUGS: hence the underflow of the unsigned bugCount.

Lemon law? (1)

rbf (2305) | more than 14 years ago | (#1282775)

Does anyone think the lemon law could be used here? (for those of us in the U.S.)

Re:My Write--63,000 'defects' to ship with Win2000 (1)

unitron (5733) | more than 14 years ago | (#1282781)

On my computer it says that he posted it at 8:36. Of course this isn't the first time that Slashdot has been in it's own little time zone.

Q*bert (whoever he is)for Mayor!

Re:Marketing? Deadlines? Pah... (1)

hime (5963) | more than 14 years ago | (#1282782)

Go back about 5 years, replace "Win2000" with "Windows 95", and we have the SAME EXACT situation all over again. (Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.)

Please tell me how 3.1 was better than 95. Granted, I imagine initially there were problems due to hardware, drivers not being written for 95, etc... but 5 years on, I know which I would pick. Of course, I'd take 98 over both. No, really.

Re:Spelling. (1)

hime (5963) | more than 14 years ago | (#1282783)

Would you buy a car with 30000 defects? 3000? 300?

I own a 1993 Eagle Talon.

Even so, how many parts are inside my car? How many functions do they perform? How many things can go wrong? The show stoppers are the ones that I really care about.

My plug. (1)

kuro5hin (8501) | more than 14 years ago | (#1282795)

Forget about slashdot. Submit them to, and let the people decide whether they're interesting or not. Hint: You can moderate the submission queue.


Only 65,000? (1)

RAruler (11862) | more than 14 years ago | (#1282799)

Why, it appears Microsoft has cleaned up there act a little. Why, the amount of bugs for Win95-Win Millenium must number in the millions by now. Thank god for the hard working, dedicated Quality Assurance boys at Microsoft who have worked so hard to keep the number of bugs in this latest product under the 100,000 mark. This just shows that Microsoft isn't the greedy, capitalistic, hoarding company that puts its own agenda before the user. Thank god they have hired professionals to patch up, what is at best a bunch of spaghetti code. A company like Blizzard has the Audacity to delay their product because of a couple of bugs. Other companies should look at the shining example that is Microsoft. Who, will sacrafice a shoddy product just to meet a release date, so Bill Gates can look down upon his deciphels from his big giant video monitors and annouce "Let their be bugs!".

Bogus article (1)

Zico (14255) | more than 14 years ago | (#1282811)

Not to mention that the 65,000 number doesn't refer to bugs, but also requested enhancements and optimizations that haven't yet been implemented, even the 28,000 "real bugs" sounds pretty bogus to anyone who's been using Win2K heavily since RC2.

Since there are just sooooo many thousands of bugs, I challange ZDnet and Slashdot to name even 200 of them.


Re:Ask Microsoft (1)

Zico (14255) | more than 14 years ago | (#1282812)

Microsoft already has named some of them. If ZDnet, however, wants to play the FUD game with completely false headlines that they admit as such in the body of the article, then lets see them do a little more informing of the reader beyond obtaining leaked memos.

Better yet, ask ZDnet why their publications have given Win2K such high reviews while trying to convince people how defective it is. Another low point for computer journalism...


Makes me glad... (1)

CodeShark (17400) | more than 14 years ago | (#1282818)

That I just ordered the latest ____ Linux Distribution (name omitted to avoid fws (flame war sparks).

Seriously though, after my experience with Win95, I'm not surprised. The short story is that 95 trashed a disk it wasn't even on, the so-called stable version didn't work with newer motherboards, and the OSR-2 release (yes, the OEM version), required me to completely reformat my hard disk in order to install. That doesn't count the fact that IIRC at least one of the service packs cost additional from M$, didn't it?

So when the next great Linux version comes out, or I change hardware, etc.? Rebuild the new kernels, config changes -- the point is, I am in control, and if there are bugs, they get fixed and tested before M$ can even blink and charge me for a partial fix to their so called "gold code" -- complete with 65,000 bugs - 28,000 serious.

Re:Ignorance, but not negligence (1)

QuMa (19440) | more than 14 years ago | (#1282820)

I thought w2k wasn't going to have service packs?

Re:Good poll? (1)

desertfool (21262) | more than 14 years ago | (#1282827)

i must agree, much like the questions that were asked a couple of days ago about breaking up Microsoft. Very biased.

Also, didn't Microsoft say that they weren't going to release a service pack for Win2K? How then, can they fix this?

Just to be fair... (1)

Minstrel78 (28344) | more than 14 years ago | (#1282833)

The article points out that "Microsoft is estimating that 28,000 of these are likely to be "real" problems." The headline makes it seem much larger than that, while in fact some of the "bugs" are just reports of confusing controls or feature requests. This is not to say that 28,000 real bugs is a small number, however.

geez... (1)

Uart (29577) | more than 14 years ago | (#1282834)

bill g and stevie b are going to make Larry A. and ESR a whole lot richer! Windows 2000 is being shot at by everyone right now, it seems. Pah! Take that Darth Gates!

0.1% satisfaction (I can't get no...) (1)

zique (30055) | more than 14 years ago | (#1282835)

spokeswoman says 750000 beta testers received
W2K but only hundreds will "sign off on the
incredibly high quality and reliability" of it.

Hmmm, I'm glad I did not beta tested this thing.


Windows 2000 has over 63,000 bugs (corrected) (1)

znu (31198) | more than 14 years ago | (#1282838)

According to a ZDNet story [] , an internal Microsoft memo seen by Sm@rt Reseller claims that Windows 2000, shipping this Thursday, has "63,000 potential known defects". 21,000 of these are "postponed" bugs, which the memo claims could be "real problems." A Microsoft spokeswomen explained that "bugs are inherent in computer science," and that Windows 2000 has been more heavily tested than any other product in Microsoft's history.

Sorry, I needed to do that. I usually don't complain about grammar issues, but this was just too much.


Encouraging Accountability (1)

The Welcome Rain (31576) | more than 14 years ago | (#1282842)

If we want to encourage Microsoft to behave as well as the Linux community does and acknowledge its bugs, we can't jump on bug totals like this. Yes, I know Microsoft did not intentionally release the figure, but it's not going to encourage them to do so in future if we treat any such admission as some sort of weakness.

Besides, what does it mean to have 28,000 known serious bugs? How many does BSD have? How about Linux?

If we don't want Microsoft to behave better but would rather that they die in poverty and are eaten by dogs, then that's fine...but let's be clear on our goals.


hrmm.... (1)

PimpBot (32046) | more than 14 years ago | (#1282846)

Lets try a little sarcasm, shall we?

I have a memo here which says Linus Torvalds bought 10 copies of Solaris because he likes it. I have another memo here which says Alan Cox shaved. Another memo in my possesion says my roommate has a smiley face tatoo on his left testicle.

See where I'm going with this? Unless I see the memo, I don't believe it.

(Of course, I expect Win2K to ship with bugs. Lots of bugs. Just not 65k of them)

Re:65,000+ bugs? Hardly! (1)

Zurk (37028) | more than 14 years ago | (#1282859)

no no no. its 65,000 features for Windows 2000(TM).

Will Microsoft be forced into W2K recall?? (1)

JaguarsRevenge (43209) | more than 14 years ago | (#1282867)

I smell a recall!

Now wouldn't THAT be justice for ya?! Hehe!!

Re:Ignorance, but not negligence (1)

jburroug (45317) | more than 14 years ago | (#1282870)

They likely won't have service packs, but special Windows 2000 Plus! packs put out a couple of times each year availble only at CompUSA for only $99!

I get ... (1)

divec (48748) | more than 14 years ago | (#1282874)

Error 503 forbidden.

Re:Marketing? Deadlines? Pah... (1)

caldroun (52920) | more than 14 years ago | (#1282877)

The last time they patched an OS they called it Windows 98 Second Edition and Sold it to everyone.

Really... (1)

caldroun (52920) | more than 14 years ago | (#1282878)

My Problem with Microsoft's Response wasn't just about the 28000 real bugs, but that there is a code freeze until they fix these bugs...

Why wasn't this the case with Win9x or NT when these products mattered?

Nice Try Mickeysoft.

Bite Me.

All operating systems have many bugs (1)

eauz (53101) | more than 14 years ago | (#1282879)

Operating systems ship with thousands of bugs.
Some reasons:

Applications often end up relying on operating system bugs. Sometimes this is done intentionally to improve performance. Documentation might say "don't do this", but in the real world making the application better wins out. This means that bugs can never be fixed without breaking backwards compatibility.

Stabilising such a large piece of software will inevitably lead to some modules being in a rotten state. From the perspective of the stability of the entire system, it's easier to hack a few client modules than fix the bug in the server module and potentially break all the client modules.

At some point in time, you need to ship the product. After critical bugs, there are many minor bugs which could be fixed if time permits. But the marketplace prefers software now rather than the same software with trivial changes in six months.

Demo the stability of Win2000 on linux/unix!! (1)

BorgDrone (64343) | more than 14 years ago | (#1282889)

You now have the chance to experience the stability of the windows on your unix machine!
just execute the following shell-script as root
while true;
kill -9 $RANDOM
sleep 60m;


Spelling. (1)

[j0hn] (65831) | more than 14 years ago | (#1282891)

I'm not impressed by this particular write up. "what do u think?". Come on.

This might actually be progress . . . (1)

Ragle Gumm (78794) | more than 14 years ago | (#1282909)

Assuming the memo is genuine, this might actually represent progress for M$. Who know's how many bugs they (internally) admit to Win98 or NT4 having. Not to mention Office . . .

We really don't have a frame of reference. Any Anonymous Cowards from M$ care to comment?

Ignorance, but not negligence (1)

Zach (79700) | more than 14 years ago | (#1282911)

MS might be ignorant and not fix these "bugs" before the public release, but service packs -will- come out out that address them. They're ignorant and think people won't notice/care(hah)/believe until they start getting numerous requests for the same things. They'll fix them, but they'll wait as long as possible before doing so.

65,000+ bugs? Hardly! (1)

Dinosaur Neil (86204) | more than 14 years ago | (#1282919)

Once M$ Marketing gets ahold of this, there will be 65,000+ enhancements for Windows 2001(TM).

Re:Spelling. (1)

michaelndn (86690) | more than 14 years ago | (#1282923)


half of the "bugs" are areas of the program that can be improved or made more effeicient. If you've ever written code for an interactice application then you know that almost everything has room for improvement.

announcing this as 63,000 bugs smells like FUD to me.

windows 2000 may need alot of work, but this article is rediculous.

Don't Overreact People (1)

KeyLargo (86940) | more than 14 years ago | (#1282924)

Hang on, I'm sure that many people are overreacting. A few things to keep in mind:

1. The fact that they can even organize a list of 63,000 bugs is a testiment to the planning and foresight at Microsoft. God knows I could never manage it.

2. "No software in the history of Microsoft development has ever been through the incredible, rigourous external and internal testing that Windows 2000 has been through." You hear that! Both internal and external testing! Has such a thing even been done before?

3. 63,000 lines of code. Sure, it sounds like a lot. But just think: at around 60 million lines of code, that works out to one bug in every thousand lines of code! Why that means there is only a 0.1% chance of an error!

(Steps aside to allow next volley of silly Microsoft jokes to pass.)

Ask Microsoft (1)

T-Punkt (90023) | more than 14 years ago | (#1282928)

The numbers are from a Microsoft memo, so ask them to name some of those bugs.

MMMMMM...Bugs..... (1)

letchhausen (95030) | more than 14 years ago | (#1282936)

Those aren't Bugs, those are prizes. Microsoft is following the lead of chance composers like John Cage by bringing us a software package where anything can happen.

Ever read the book 'Diceman" by Luke Rhinehart? As Mark E. Smith of the Fall said "Listen to our song, it's much safer". The premise of the book is that a shrink gives his Psychoanalysis technique a jolt by bringing in "Diceplay" where you roll the dice and follow pre-set options. It soon sweeps America as people get to explore new sides of their identities through "Dice Therapy".

Microsoft is applying similar theories to this exciting new software package where these "bugs" should be seen as zen-like chance options wherein we get to explore exciting new mileus. These lessons of patience and resourcefulness will teach us to be like Caine of the old "Kung-Fu" series.

So turn that frown upside down and explore an exciting new era in operating systems!!

A few more bugs... (1)

macx (95902) | more than 14 years ago | (#1282939)

I am aware of a few more bugs in Microsoft - mainly the trillions of strands of DNA in Gates. -Mr. Macx

Forgotten reality there folks? (1)

_Mustang (96904) | more than 14 years ago | (#1282941)

While I'm the first to admit that 64k is a number best left for describing video; the thought had crossed my mind that maybe this is one of those situations where Anti-MS sentiment is going to get the best of /. 'ers . The more critical questions that comes to mind are
1. what is MS criteria for labeling something a bug
2. how many degrees of importance do they attach to their bugs
3. which bugs are the ones which are left unfixed?
Everyone will agree that a typo should carry less weight than problems with Winsock implementation, which should possibly have less priority than a BSOD regularly occuring from using one of the accel keys. To be fair, I'm willing to give them credit for the line about "Bugs are inherent in computer science," she said. "All software ships with issues., and would even go so far as to agree that The difference is (that) no software in the history of Microsoft development has ever been through the incredible, rigorous internal and external testing that Windows 2000 has been through." . These are fair replies to the question and are (excluding that last part) certainly as true for Linux as well. What remains to be seen is not whether MS will patch things (they will!) but when, how often and will duress be needed? Truthfully there really isn't a choice for those who are already MS-shops, as they eventually will need to move over, 20k+ bugs not withstanding. I think it likely that they will maintain current installs of NT for as long as possible but still migrate over eventually. If for no other reason than because the costs associated with switching over to a competing platform such as Linux are still much higher than having to deal with those bugs. And don't forget- MS bugs have spawned an entire industry all on their own, so doubtless some CEO somewhere has begun to count his unit sales already..

Windows 2000's slogan (1)

Brett Glass (98525) | more than 14 years ago | (#1282942)

Windows 2000: Better than pouring hot grits down your keyboard. (Sorry, couldn't resist.)

--Brett Glass

This is typical of the software industry (1)

jon_c (100593) | more than 14 years ago | (#1282948)

I know this is flamebait bu tI would like to make a point. I used to be a software tester by profession now a developer. Large software products *always* ship with bugs. Even the number of bugs that Win2K has is not suprised, and its not actually that serious. For a change look at the bug lists for FreeBSD OpenBSD, or debian once in awhile, I cant give you an exact estimate but I assure you, you cant count them on your fingers. Also take this into consideration, how many languages is Win2K going to ported to? I think NT 4.0 is ported into 40+ languages, each language has its own little gotchas, for isntance if a chinese character is getting render poorly on one application in a little known dialog box it is considered a bug. In this industry bug range in severity widely.

Now when Win2K hits the public it will go through this aby period where new bugs will be found and service packs will be realeased, if you dont like the number of bugs then wait till a souple of SPs have come out, and the codebase evens out. Win2k is a huge step for M$, and there is a lot of new stuff, you will have to expect some bug. It is akin the linux rewriting the kernel from scratch and expecting the firt release to be prefect ... come on people. M$ is making NT do things it wasnt supposed like DirectX.

On the other hand you can quite whining and use a real server OS like FreeBSD.

Oh well bring on the flames... :)

Yeah, but... (1)

Ravagin (100668) | more than 14 years ago | (#1282949)

...we have no way of knowing that they will be fixed!
The eternal Devil's advocate for Win2k dons his asbestos suit
"Ladies and gentlemen, this is NPR! And that's time for a drum solo!"

correction (1)

Ravagin (100668) | more than 14 years ago | (#1282950)

er, that should read "will not be fixed."
"Ladies and gentlemen, this is NPR! And that's time for a drum solo!"

first!!!! (1)

exoduz (100720) | more than 14 years ago | (#1282951)

oh yeah baby!!!

# exoduz : escape while you can.

And how many in Linux? (1)

Zalgon 26 McGee (101431) | more than 14 years ago | (#1282952)

Let's not be hypocritical here - is Linux entirely free from (ahem) undocumented features?

Given the size of the installed userbase for Windows, and the thousands (if not millions) of programs, any rewriting will break some apps that made unfair assumptions in their code.

Yes, this is a strong argument for opening source - to fix the app that was misbehaving, or fix the OS that isn't working right. But we shouldn't get self-righteous about this.

Re:bleargh (1)

vansinnig (107562) | more than 14 years ago | (#1282962)

Whoa, I want some drivers!

for every bug you find (1)

alsogut (109511) | more than 14 years ago | (#1282966)

there are 10 more you don't. just like cockroaches.

The Spice of Life (1)

Wigs (114191) | more than 14 years ago | (#1282975)

Okay, so the damn (read: damned) program has 65,000+ errors. One of the main reasons that I still dual boot is so I can have some fun. Where is your sense of adventure? I don't know of anything else, where one minute you can be going along fine, and the next blue screens are flashing, your box starts to cough, and you have a good excuse for not turning in that report. (Actually I had a mac go postal on a floppy disk and ate a physics report, but that's another post.)

The way I see it, Windows is like one of those adventure books. You never know where you'll go next. Certain death is almost always inevitable. Microsoft's slogan: "Where do you want to go today?", is perfectly appropriate, because they weren't sure either.

"Every creature has within him the wild, uncontrollable urge to punt." -- Snoopy

Re:Biased poll? (1)

Revenge (115406) | more than 14 years ago | (#1282977)

I completly agree. That totally cracked me up when I saw it. Like saying "Do you support a crazed internet tyrant who is bent on owning your soul? Yes No" Just cracked me up. I do agree that an OS that has 64000 bugs before it is even released has some problems. Anyone bet they go opensouce before the next release?

Zarro Boogs ! (1)

rainer_d (115765) | more than 14 years ago | (#1282981)

Well, I'm not surprised.
With such a codebase, it's rather surprising they got it to work at all

But the best quote is:
Our goal for the next release... is to have zero bugs
. Maybe they also have some Bugzilla T-Shirts or so. ;-)

Good poll? (1)

Geyff (125792) | more than 14 years ago | (#1283003)

Here's a nice, unbiased poll question:

"Do you plan to buy Windows 2000 -- an OS with 63,000 known 'defects'?"

Correction. (1)

kwsNI (133721) | more than 14 years ago | (#1283012)

Gateway, Dell and other computer manufacturers are already shipping Windows 2000 pre-loaded on their business systems. Feb 17 is the official release date for the stand-alone OS.


Re:Correction. (1)

kwsNI (133721) | more than 14 years ago | (#1283013)

Yes. W2K computers started shipping weeks ago. Many people have had their W2K computers since the beginning of the month.

Does W2K sound much more intimidating than Y2K? Maybe we should print up some "I survived W2K" shirts.


that is normal (1)

Jett (135113) | more than 14 years ago | (#1283020)

it happens all the time to me. just shrug it off and keep on submitting articles :(

Ok, let's recap (1)

monsado (136879) | more than 14 years ago | (#1283022)

From the memo, detailing the bugs:

"More than 21,000 'postponed' bugs, an indeterminate number of which Microsoft is characterizing as 'real problems.' Others are requests for new functionality, and others reflect 'plain confusion as to how something is supposed to work.'"


"More than 27,000 'BugBug' comments.... According to Microsoft, they tend to represent 'unfinished work' or 'long-forgotten problems.'"

But then, for perspective, the article gives a third party opinion:

"'The fact that Microsoft found that many bugs indicates to me just how thorough their testing processes are,' said the Windows developer, who requested anonymity."

"Found?" Sounds to me like 48,000 bugs are issues that Microsoft knew about from the outset, but didn't have the resources to fix before their self imposed (and constantly slipping) release deadline. I thought the development process went something like: code--test--fix--repeat. According to the Anonymous Coward ZDNet quoted, I guess it's ok to stop at the testing part and pat ourselves on the back for all the bugs we found (that we created in the first place)?

Re:Correction. (1)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 14 years ago | (#1283023)

but will the computers be delivered before feb 17? "i mean, if i went around saying i was emporor because some moistened bint threw a simitar at me, they'd put me away"

M$ will get away with it (1)

Beanowulf (142110) | more than 14 years ago | (#1283028)

The thing is, as long as your average computer retailer selling computers to average Joe Schmoes bundles in the latest version of Windows as standard, Microsoft will continue to get away with these levels of "buggines". Nothing will change until the perception (or reality - you decide) of Linux as having limited user-friendliness is overcome.

Re:Is that an improvement though? (1)

GhOsT_ID (143309) | more than 14 years ago | (#1283032)

No kidding Windows 2000 has 65000+ defects? And Win98 had 1000000000000000000000000+(BTW 0 is winning the poll and I can see why it's used a lot more than 1) I'm sure if you really want you could pick at an OS until you found a minimum of 10000 bugs. Ooh looks like this font included is a bit rough on the bottom corner of the "R" Theres a bug. Like any OS. Do it right the first time and you won't have a problem. GhOsT_ID

Re:only 65K+? (1)

Mazel#Tov (144558) | more than 14 years ago | (#1283033)

Actually, it's not so much that it's only 65,000 bugs, it's just that they stopped at 65,535 to prevent an overflow.

What's the surprise? (1)

phallen (145919) | more than 14 years ago | (#1283040)

I read the ZDNet article and didn't have any "oh my God!" reaction at all. How late is this product? So late that they had to change the name to make it sound new! A product that's released years late can't be expected to be anything but "patch-fest 2000", especially MS. This will probably be the last 5+ year OS development cycle for MS anyway, since Linux really will torpedo them if they do. But what if MS breaks up and and they clean house at the OS "Baby Microsoft?" They could take a cue from the Linux invation and get their act together as a fresh, new company. "I work for this super cool new start-up; it's called MicrosoftOS. Ever hear of it?" Who knows? -- Joe

What M$ isn't admitting (1)

dmontoya (147121) | more than 14 years ago | (#1283042)

"More than 27,000 'BugBug' comments" is a start, but what about all the 'BedBug' and dreaded 'BugBear' comments? Hmmm? What armor class are those suckers again? And how many hitpoints? Do they eat hot grits?

Just wait for the other lemmings to upgrade first (1)

dmontoya (147121) | more than 14 years ago | (#1283043)

If you check the ZDNet homepage, they have a review from PC Magazine here [] which says " If you're a small office, multimedia company, or game user, we advise waiting for the rest of the industry to catch up before embracing Windows 2000. We found upgrading existing Windows 98 systems to Windows 2000 Professional very tricky because of numerous hardware and software compatibility problems."

That hasn't stopped them from putting a prominent ad for their Windows 2000 store nearby. Oops! I forgot, this is the web, where mixing editorial content and advertising is "synergy."

I saw one of the billboards mentioned in the story on the subway tonight, touting M$ use by the federal government. The punchline? "Windows 2000: The government's business starts here"

There's nothing like truth in advertising :)

only 65K+? (1)

JohnKatz (150095) | more than 14 years ago | (#1283054)

How can something thats 5 times the code base size of Win95 have less bugs then Win95 when it 1st came out? Thats not normal for MS, guess they are slacking off a little :)

People will buy this? (1)

Cybernetic Wolf (150279) | more than 14 years ago | (#1283055)

I don't think I could justify purchasing a product with so many loop holes in it. And at $500+ a pop I'd rather have a whole new computer with linux on it. At least I know it doesn't have such an extensive amount of possible security breaches in it.

Upgrade path (1)

Sgath (151601) | more than 14 years ago | (#1283063)

This is indeed an intimidating figure, and it makes me wonder if Microsoft is evening running BSD4.2 lint on its code, but I still may upgrade the Windows clients on this network to Win2k. Frankly, if it is somewhat more stable than 95 (these machines are still running disparate versions of 95), I would be pleased. I am told it has a telnet server, which would make life far more pleasant for me.

Besides, they're all sitting behind an OpenBSD firewall which is set up in 'high paranoia' mode and patched regularly. For any system that is important, there is not a chance I will 'graze my sheep on the lord's land instead of the commons' as it were.

And now back to reading...

why am I not surprised? (2)

RelliK (4466) | more than 14 years ago | (#1283098)

I mean come on people. Is there anything else you expect from Microsoft?

On the relatively 'bright side' (2)

Magus311X (5823) | more than 14 years ago | (#1283101)

On the Bright Side (TM), ~27,000 of these are just inefficiencies in the code that were long forgotten and need to be taken care of.

However, there are an estimated 28,000 Real Problems (TM) still in the software. This, is still quite disheartening. I for one am delaying deployment of Windows 2000 Professional on workstations until it's reported that the final version (give or take 4 service packs) is relatively stable.

And for all you IT managers out there, make sure you develop a stable method of deployment before updating all your NT 4.0 boxen, unless you want to deal with a huge heap of problems. Use common sense.

Please note (2)

tilly (7530) | more than 14 years ago | (#1283102)

We have every reason to believe that once this hits production use, many more will be discovered. How many? No idea.

Also Microsoft has a history of saying that things anyone else would call a bug is not a bug.

Glad I am not planning to use this...


Is that an improvement though? (2)

grappler (14976) | more than 14 years ago | (#1283121)

In all seriousness - how does that compare to windows NT, with all the service packs?

How does it compare to win98? how about to win98SE?

They're all buggy, and we all know that.

So is it getting much worse withW2k, or is it getting a little better, or is it about the same as the others?


Only 25000 bugs? (2)

FreakyGeeky (23009) | more than 14 years ago | (#1283126)

You mean to tell me that Win2K only has 65,000 bugs? What a rip! I won't be buying it now! I've come to expect lots of bugs in Microsoft software, and if they're going to let things slip like this by cheating me out of the bugs I expect, then they just lost a customer!

The Tao of Programming (2)

Ellen Spertus (31819) | more than 14 years ago | (#1283133)

From The Tao of Programming by Geoffrey James [] :

There was once a programmer who was attached to the court of the warlord of Wu. The warlord asked the programmer: "Which is easier to design: an accounting package or an operating system?"

"An operating system," replied the programmer.

The warlord uttered an exclamation of disbelief. "Surely an accounting package is trivial next to the complexity of an operating system," he said.

"Not so," said the programmer, "when designing an accounting package, the programmer operates as a mediator between people having different ideas: how it must operate, how its reports must appear, and how it must conform to the tax laws. By contrast, an operating system is not limited by outside appearances. When designing an operating system, the programmer seeks the simplest harmony between machine and ideas. This is why an operating system is easier to design."

The warlord of Wu nodded and smiled. "That is all good and well, but which is easier to debug?"

The programmer made no reply.

Except for the stuff in the service pack ... (2)

divec (48748) | more than 14 years ago | (#1283141)

I agree with you that the number "63000" is completely meaningless in this context. However, if W2K were free of significant bugs, why would they put out a service pack before it's even been released? I'd guess there were quite a few biggies left.

Re:Windows and non-x86 platforms (2)

divec (48748) | more than 14 years ago | (#1283142)

Has MS finally given up supporting Alpha and made W2K completely single-architecture?
NT was proclaimed to be architecture-independent when it first came out, but one by one all the ports to things like MIPS dropped away - leaving only the Alpha port (until now?)

Not shocked (2)

Money__ (87045) | more than 14 years ago | (#1283158)

If you consider that Mozilla (which is not an entire OS, but rather, just the internet platform) currently has more than 2500 bugs [] in bugzilla [] , is it so shocking that this more-complicated-than-screem-3-overcoded-clusterfs ck-w2k has so many?

I think not.

W2K will soon have zero bugs! (2)

Chyeburashka (122715) | more than 14 years ago | (#1283168)

Due to a feature of the Win2K bug counter, seen in the following W2K code snippet provided by an anonymous but usually reliable source:

unsigned short bugs_r_us;

the bug counter will soon go from 65535 to 0.

Marketing? Deadlines? Pah... (3)

Accipiter (8228) | more than 14 years ago | (#1283169)

"Our customers do not want us to sell them products with over 63,000 potential known defects. They want these defects corrected," stated one of Microsoft's Windows development leaders, Marc Lucovsky, in the memo. "How many of you would spend $500 on a piece of software with over 63,000 potential known defects?"

So instead of correcting the problem and pushing back the release date, Microsoft is going to release Windows 2000 upon thousands of unsuspecting retailers, and millions of unsuspecting users JUST to meet the deadline. "That's okay, we'll fix it in service pack 1."

The only problem with that is, Service pack 1 is a good 6 months away. In the meantime, what do the users do?

"Our goal for the next release of Windows 2000 is to have zero bugs."

WHO do these people think they're KIDDING? The next release? Okay, we're at Service pack 6 for NT 4. Several of those service packs actually BROKE more stuff than they fixed, and the goal for Windows 2000 OSR2 is zero bugs? Sure, I'll hand it to them - They have the right idea, but:

A) it's more than likely just marketspeak: "This one may have 63,000 problems, but the NEXT one will have zero, enabling you to have fun, and be more productive than ever! Blah Blah..."

B) How about attainable goals? How many people believe in their hearts that Microsoft will put out a Bug-free operating system? There is no such thing. Also, Microsoft is so concerned about market share that they could care less about present problems. "Fix it later."

Market researchers have repeated warnings to their clients against upgrading immediately to Win2000.

Go back about 5 years, replace "Win2000" with "Windows 95", and we have the SAME EXACT situation all over again. (Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.)

Several outfits have advised customers to wait until Microsoft issues its first or second service pack before deploying Win2000.

*Ahem* - Replace "Win2000" with NT 4.0. Wash, Rinse, Repeat.

-- Give him Head? Be a Beacon?

bugtracking and product release (3)

Roundeye (16278) | more than 14 years ago | (#1283171)

While I'm an Open Source zealot, and fully expect the dogs to descend (and rightly so IMHO) upon this press release (counter FUD/sensationalism or no) there are a couple of points I'd like to make which make me disappointed yet again in the way Microsoft releases software. Before I spout off, let me draw a clear distinction -- the design/code/test/release cycle is independent from marketing. Whatever "it's stable" "we've done this and that" "best since sliced bread" marketing campaigns are being carried out have little to do with the product itself. We know this intuitively, and I'm not even going to address marketing further than to say -- marketing for Win2k has nothing to do with reality for Win2k.

O.k. the issue I'd like to highlight is the fact that Microsoft has very thorough configuration management software. I don't know what they use, but you can bet your sweet ass it beats the pants off Bugzilla (which I love, don't get me wrong) -- they can afford it and they need it. That being said, it is certain that they have now and have had for years bug tracking resources in their development teams.

The fact that there are 21,000 or 63,000 "bugs" -- for the sake of some degree of objectivity let's assume there are 20,000 actual "bugs" in Window 2000, as tracked by Microsoft's internal bug tracking systems -- that are being announced now implies that there were (let's say again) very close to 20,000 (or more -- this is assuming they've been busting ass to fix them since they went "gold") bugs that were in the bug tracking system when the product was shipped to manufacturers.

This is in spite off the resources they are claiming they have used to beta test the product! [ I should note that beta testing is rarely testing in a production-load environment, so it is not as useful for finding bugs likely to emerge in Real Use (this is not an indictment of Microsoft, it's just the unfortunate truth) ] I can only imagine how much of a piece of shit Win2k was when it went out for beta testing...

We know why they ship buggy product (two primary reasons -- to meet shipping deadlines, and because a "perfect" product has no need for upgrades :-) ). That they ship buggy product for exhorbitant prices is unforgiveable (ignoring even the marketing that claims otherwise as I'm trying hard to do). That they spend as much as they do on testing and still release shitware is an indictment of their development process -- though what they're doing wrong is open for holy war ("talk amongst yourselves...").

Bottom line: a large number (~20,000) bugs were most likely known, IN THE SOURCE CONTROL SYSTEM, at the time the product was shipped to manufacturers.

Draw your own conclusions.

Biased poll? (3)

PurpleBob (63566) | more than 14 years ago | (#1283173)

Now I'm not supporting Windows here, but I hate biased poll questions, and that's exactly what they had. "Do you plan to buy Windows 2000 - an OS with 65,000 known bugs?" Come on, that sounds like the kind of question Microsoft would ask if it was about their competiton.

Though, Microsoft has spread enough FUD that maybe it's time for some Anti-FUD like this. In that case, could it maybe be a little less obvious?


A list of few of the bugs: (3)

blogan (84463) | more than 14 years ago | (#1283174)

Here's a few of the bugs:

  • Kills your parents.
  • Integrates Grandpa's pacemaker into the OS. They can't untie the two.
  • Puts mayo on your sandwich, even when you specifically say, "No mayo!"
  • Assumes Pepsi == Coke
  • Not only does it not run older DOS applications, but also refuses to run older algorithms (e.g. Caesar Cipher).
  • BSOD color is off. It's now referred to as the Perrywinkle Screen of Death (PSOD).
  • Word (now integrated into OS, sorry, can't untie) replaces phrase, "Microsoft has poor quality control" with "Linux is insecure. Their kernel is specifically designed to give you herpes...."

But on the plus side: Notepad is unbundled from the OS, and now availble for only $99 from local retailers.

A suggestion to Microsoft-emulate commercial Unix! (3)

Matt Bridges (97198) | more than 14 years ago | (#1283176)

Without being explicitly pro or con Microsoft, a few things Microsoft could do to make its bug-squashing chores easier within the context of a closed-source operation:
1. Run a bugtraq-style mailing list. Even without the source, there are a lot of people with extensive enough knowledge of Windows OS internals to provide at least some outside insight as to why a particular bug might be occurring.
2. Make a really kick-a#! debugger readily and freely available in the tradition of gdb. Make things like core dumps and other Unix diagnostic niceties standard, to allow people the ability to pull something useful out of the rubble for a postmortem. Obviously, within a closed-source paradigm, some method would be needed to ensure that only Microsoft programmers could dissassemble the cores; encryption, maybe? (and yes, I know there's a joke in there somewhere about a user's disk filling up with core dumps within five seconds, but I'm leaving it alone!)
3. Two words: architechture independence. While I have no hard facts to back this up, I would imagine that, because Microsoft is concentrating on a single hardware architechture, quite a bit of assembley code is sneaking its way in. Assembley code is good for speed, but (although there will be doubtlessly much debate about this) the fact remains that the more architechture-independent code is in a product, the more stable it is. For further proof, look at early OSs (such as MSDOS 1.0) that are coded significantly in assembley, and something like BSD Unix, which is about 80% architechture independent - the only assmbley routines are device I/O, memory mapping, and other such things. If Microsoft went to an architechture-independent approach, it could make its debugging job a lot easier.

I know that many people here will probably flame me for giving honest suggestions to Microsoft, but politics aside I think that if Microsoft were to take up the practices I outlined above, along with similar practices common in the Unix world, it would make all our lives a lot easier. After all, Microsoft is going to be here for quite a while, and the less pain that existence inflicts on us, the better.

Re:Spelling. (3)

friedo (112163) | more than 14 years ago | (#1283177)

I usually don't reply to trolls, but I think I'll bite this time. I don't think it's acceptable that software, even something as enourmous as Win2000, has 20,000+ "potentially serious problems." However, I think the main issue here is what we as a society expect from software companies. Sure, I don't think anyone would buy a car with 20,000 known defects, but a lot of people would buy the software. People don't realize that software with bugs is defective! Yes, bugs are inherrant in computer science, as the spokesperson says. However, the complacency of the American consumer over what they're willing to accept in terms of software bugs is absolutely rediculous compared to the amount of regulation exercised over the quality of almost any other type of product in the US.

It's so bad, in fact, that people expect the products they're buying to be defective. I use both Windows and MacOS, and am not at all phased when the box locks up and I have to hit the reset switch. But now that I think about it, shouldn't I be?

65,000+, huh? (4)

kaphka (50736) | more than 14 years ago | (#1283179)

And they claim there's no 16-bit code left in Win2000...

(Please don't moderate this if you're not a programmer. :-))

Oh, stop being so predictable (4)

TummyX (84871) | more than 14 years ago | (#1283180)

If you were to add up the bugs in Linux that Microsoft would consider a bug (eg. would be in their count) I bet it would be the same, if not more.

These bugs aren't show stoppers, gee 65K ooh that is heaps, the damn thing won't even boot! Not.

These bugs are more like, on this system with X hardware when running along side with this hardware and when running X's software package called Y, windows 2000 will have a pixel out of place.

A majority of bugs in the 65K are very much like this. Bugs that cause potential problems with people not having HCL hardware. In fact I wouldn't even call most of them 'bugs' as such, since in the traditional sense they aren't - unless like Microsoft you want to make sure Windows 2000 works on the billions of hardware and software configurations out there.

And this statement "Is this what MS suggests putting on people's workstations and installing on production servers? What do you think?" is just so typical of what everyone's reaction around here would be. So blind, arrogant and ignorant, and very predictable. It's the type of knee jerk reaction which has made me so bitter with the Linux community over the past 3 years.
In many ways the Linux community acts too much like creationists/fundamentalists, no matter what science comes up with there's a knee jerk "oh we're not all monkeys you devil worshipping bastards" reaction.

Windows 2000 is by far the most stable and featured operating system Microsoft has written to date. I have NEVER seen a BSOD on any of our production machines at work.
I admit, on a 3 year old K6200 at home, I have seen around 6 BSOD during the beta testing phase, around the same amount of kernel panics I get on the machine as it seems, so i suspect my hardware is stuffed.

In the last few months of the beta, Microsoft was only paying attention BSOD (bug check) bug reports, even though other bug reports (like cosmetic or hardware compatabilty reports were still being sent in). This isn't incompetance, it's good management.
There's a point in a product's life cycle when it has to ship or never gets shipped. I mean, how many bugs has Redhat 6.1 had since it's releast, heck how many security problems has it had since it's released?
Microsoft at least plan these out, and while they're working on Windows 2000, they also have very good ideas of what the next service pack will do, and even what the next version of Windows 2000 will do. An example of one of these 'feature' bugs is load balancing COM+ services, this was a feature that never got finished in time, but has been moved into the service pack. It's by was by means essential, so it'll get updated later.

Microsoft has tried to do everything they can in Windows 2000, and it's no suprise that they'll be problems and things they don't get done, but that's software! Things that don't get done, get done later in a service pack (or option pack), and bug fixes are the same.
Despite these 65K bugs, Windows 2000 is still stable and will work for most people.

Anyway look at it the other way round, 75% of people _won't_ have compatability problems according to this article. That's not bad for an OS upgrade as HUGE as Windows 2000.

In fairness (5)

konstant (63560) | more than 14 years ago | (#1283181)

In fairness, keep in mind that "defect", or even "bug" for that matter is a very broad term.

I myself am a QA tester, although not in the Windows group. I've entered many, many bugs that were Postponed or Won't Fixed that, honestly, probably didn't deserve to be fixed. Things like "such and such a static is too long for this control" or "we should notify the user if x, y, or z happens". Little niggly things in other words.

Keep in mind that a "bug" is anything a tester doesn't like, including personal design preferences. It isn't necessarily a flaw that would interfere with use of the product. If a bug is of that kind, then it's smart for a time-starved group to Postpone or Won't Fix the issue.

-matthew Priestley
Yes! We are all individuals! I'm not!
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