The curse of a generation of computer technicians and system administrators may be about to disappear with the next version of Microsoft Windows.
In the beta version of Windows 11, the updated operating system due to be launched in October, the Blue Screen Of Death – affectionately known as the BSOD – seems to have changed colour, US tech site The Verge reports.
The Blue Screen Of Death was introduced by Microsoft in 1990 with Windows 3 as a tool to help diagnose system crashes. Its notoriously cryptic messages often served to baffle rather than aid technicians in the days before the World Wide Web and search engines arrived to help decipher the error codes.
As embedded systems using Windows spread around the world in the early 2000s, the BSOD became familiar to the public as the error screens regularly appeared on displays ranging from station departure boards and vending machines through to digital advertising billboards.
Most notoriously, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates fell victim to the Blue Screen Of Death before thousands of attendees at the 1998 Comdex trade fair when an attempt to plug in a USB scanner during a Window98 demonstration crashed the system.
In recent years, Microsoft simplified the error codes to make the BSOD more user-friendly and added a sad face with the release of Window 8 in 2012 and QR codes four years later to help debug issues.
Beta reviewers of the new operating system are less than impressed so far with many criticising the hardware requirements which exclude all but the latest systems and little in the way of improved functionality.
However, the six year gap between the launch of Windows 10 and the new version’s rollout will be the longest gap in the system’s version releases since Microsoft first launched Windows in 1985.
Previously the longest break between versions was the gap between Windows XP in 2001 and the ill-fated Vista in 2006 following long delays as Microsoft tried to re-write the operating system’s code as part of its Longhorn project.
Fans of the Blue Screen of Death need not be disappointed though, the new Black Screen Of Death – which handily keeps the BSOD acronym – can be toggled, reports Tom’s Hardware Guide.
The error messages however won’t be going away, hopefully though they’ll just be less frequent.