Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 10th Jul 2007 18:23 UTC, submitted by estherschindler
Microsoft "Have you ever wondered what really happens to those Windows error reports you can send to Microsoft whenever a Windows app crashes? How many reports it must receive before taking action? Or whether it's worth your time and effort to send duplicate reports if the error occurs repeatedly? I did, and I asked Microsoft. Unfortunately, after a week and a handful of assurances that they were working on responses, the software giant refused to speak with me."
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this is what they do...
by nivenh on Tue 10th Jul 2007 18:54 UTC
nivenh
Member since:
2005-07-06

with those bug reports...

*nothing*

that's why they won't give you an answer. can you imagine how embarassing that would be to say it in public?

if 100 corp. customers report 10 bugs (through special channels), they'll make more $$ on fixing those 10 bugs than they would if 10000 home users reported the same 10 bugs via the automatic crash reporter.

Reply Score: 5

RE: this is what they do...
by Bending Unit on Tue 10th Jul 2007 20:36 in reply to "this is what they do..."
Bending Unit Member since:
2005-07-06

Your source please if you may?

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: this is what they do...
by jayson.knight on Tue 10th Jul 2007 21:21 in reply to "this is what they do..."
jayson.knight Member since:
2005-07-06

"if 100 corp. customers report 10 bugs (through special channels), they'll make more $$ on fixing those 10 bugs than they would if 10000 home users reported the same 10 bugs via the automatic crash reporter."

Huh? A bug is a bug is a bug, and an hour spent fixing your so called "corporate" bug costs the same as fixing a "home user" bug. And I'm extremely curious to hear your reasoning about how MS makes money from bug fixes considering all of their patches/service packs/rollups are free.

Regardless of what channel a bug gets reported through, MS doesn't make any money off of bug fixes. In fact, the dynamics are such at MS that the product support groups actually bill the product teams for bugs they get calls on until the bug is fixed, so the product teams actually lose money on bugs, hence the incentive to get them fixed quicker.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: this is what they do...
by nivenh on Wed 11th Jul 2007 07:16 in reply to "RE: this is what they do..."
nivenh Member since:
2005-07-06

Huh? A bug is a bug is a bug, and an hour spent fixing your so called "corporate" bug costs the same as fixing a "home user" bug. And I'm extremely curious to hear your reasoning about how MS makes money from bug fixes considering all of their patches/service packs/rollups are free.


i don't know how you figure that. imagine this...

corp customer finds a bug during testing. stops rollout due to bug. MS fixes bug, corp customer can then continue to roll it out on more machines, and buy more licenses (1000 more copies of Vista sold to finish the rollout at SmallAndBigBusinessRUS). i'd guess this is a pretty common scenario...

compared to user who finds bug, gets bug fixed by MS at the cost of 10 man hours lets say. user *MIGHT* (if planets are aligned properly) buy 1 or 2 more copies because of this.

sounds like pretty good reasoning to me.

besides, my original post was pretty sarcastic despite there being some possible truth to it. i never claimed it as fact. it wasn't my intention to get anyone's fact-panties into a wad. obviously they do SOMETHING with those reports. c'mon.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: this is what they do...
by MollyC on Tue 10th Jul 2007 23:59 in reply to "this is what they do..."
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

There was a time that I installed some audio software on my computer. Later, I found that every time I ran a particular app and executed a particular operation, the app crashed. (I didn't relate it to the audio software that I had installed days earlier.) After multiple crashes, I finally sent in the error report. Much to my surprise, the error-report tool immediately responded with information as to the cause of the problem and how to fix it. (The audio software, which the error-report tool actually explicitly identified, had altered sound driver settings or whatever (I forget the details).) I tried the suggested fix and it worked. (I later uninstalled the problematic audio software altogether. :p)

So if your error report matches an entry in their database, you'll get immediate info as to the cause and fix. If it doens't match an entry in the database, the data you send will lead to creation of such an entry if practicable (i.e. if enough people send reports about the same problem and the cause can be identified).

Edited 2007-07-11 00:00

Reply Parent Score: 4

StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

I've also heard of problems being automatigically fixed as a result of sending an error report. A tech support customer had a problem a few months back with his PC bluescreening - about 5 minutes before I was due to head over to look at it, I got a call from him saying:

"It crashed again and this time I sent an error report. Then I got a message saying a patch is available for this problem and asking if I would like to download and install it. I hit yes, and it's been working fine ever since."

It was a nice surprise, I guess I've just been dealing with MS software for long and have come to expect their error messages to be completely useless (OE wins for the error message: "Unable to import Internet account settings file because: a error occurred").

Of course, this is second-hand based on a phone account from a less-technical person, so grains of salt and all that.

Reply Parent Score: 2