Steve Ballmer wrote the BSOD text

Microsoft's former CEO, Steve Ballmer, is credited with writing the original Blue Screen of Death text that has become a staple of the Windows platform. In a new blog post penned a few days back, Ballmer is given credit for re-writing the text that appears on the infamous BSOD that we all know and love.

The post talks about how he got involved with the text that would appear during a BSOD:

During this time period, Steve Ballmer was head of the Systems Division, and he paid a visit to the Windows team to see what they were up to, as is the wont of many executives. When they showed him the Ctrl+Alt+Del feature, he nodded thoughtfully and added, "This is nice, but I don't like the text of the message. It doesn't sound right to me."

So, Ballmer went back to his office, changed the text and emailed it back to the team a few days later; the rest is history. Steve's fix for what the screen should say was so good, it was nearly identical to the contents of the email that he sent. 

Ballmer had many lasting impressions on Microsoft - some good, some not so good - but he served the company well and helped to generate billions of dollars in return to shareholders. While he may now be going all-in on his new basketball team, his legacy at Microsoft will live on forever.

Source: MSDN | Via:  ExpertReviews

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47 Comments

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Does the screen that used to appear after CTRL+ALT+DEL qualify as BSOD? It was technically a "Blue Screen", but the "Blue Screen Of Death" used to apply to the infamous "Fatal exception 0E" which was UNRECOVERABLE and any attempts to continue would result in further exceptions.

This is pretty much how the actual BSOD from that era looks like

http://fc04.deviantart.net/fs5/i/2004/350/6/f/BSoD_Wallpaper___New_by_neko_mangaka.jpg

Ian William said,
A friend shared this with me over 36 hours ago . . .

and you didn't even pointed a neowin reporter to this? shame on you!

SHAME!

Shame on you Neowin, of all places I didn't expect Neowin to make such an error - this isn't the BSOD, its the app termination screen. For god's sake, the MSDN link explicity calls it so, no mention of BSOD.

ERRORS! ERRORS! ERRORS!
Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete to reboot this AMAZING operating system that only cost you 99 dollars!!! You read it, we made this perfect system crash your PC for only 99 dollars!

Bamsebjørn said,
ERRORS! ERRORS! ERRORS!
Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete to reboot this AMAZING operating system that only cost you 99 dollars!!! You read it, we made this perfect system crash your PC for only 99 dollars!

Steve Jobs would write it:
"you are using this revolutionary equipment in the wrong way".

Praetor said,
Steve Jobs would write it:
"you are using this revolutionary equipment in the wrong way".

http://farm1.staticflickr.com/183/421866187_2f56f7f387_z.jpg

Bamsebjørn said,
ERRORS! ERRORS! ERRORS!
Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete to reboot this AMAZING operating system that only cost you 99 dollars!!! You read it, we made this perfect system crash your PC for only 99 dollars!

Kernel panic - You have an amazing OS that has a dedicated team who has no interest in helping noobs, please go find a 3rd party forum with self-proclaimed linux experts who get angry that you can't use Terminal.

FYI - I am using linux to write this :p

Toysoldier said,

Kernel panic - You have an amazing OS that has a dedicated team who has no interest in helping noobs, please go find a 3rd party forum with self-proclaimed linux experts who get angry that you can't use Terminal.

FYI - I am using linux to write this :p

lol

now, a FreeBSD one! Or Solaris...

I saw this screen many times, back in the days, on my good old 486DX-33 / Windows 3.11 for Workgroups... ;) Good memories (not this screen. The Windows 3.1 era)

Love him or hate him, XP and Windows 7 were during his reign. Vista ... well ... lets not talk about that black sheep.

koppit said,
... as a platform for building Windows 7? Yes. As a standalone OS? .......I don't think so.

Why shouldn't it be appreciated as a standalone operating system? It brought revolutionary changes to the Windows platform.

koppit said,
Love him or hate him, XP and Windows 7 were during his reign. Vista ... well ... lets not talk about that black sheep.

Vista was the foundation of Windows 7, seem as Windows 8 will be the foundation of Windows 9.

Ian William said,
Windows Vista deserves more love.

Vista may have been unstable and terrible to use but the UI was head and shoulders above and beyond windows 8.

Order_66 said,

Vista may have been unstable and terrible to use but the UI was head and shoulders above and beyond windows 8.


And brought so many major enhancements to the Windows operating system. :wub:

I've seen a few BSOD but have yet to see this one. Mine is always a page fault or something similar. During a BSOD you're not able to do any of those things. Is this a joke?

From Windows 3.1
https://www.google.com/search?q=windows+3.1+bsod&client=firefox-a&hs=cVG&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&channel=sb&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=OYsIVMGWB4qeggTEiYGACA&ved=0CAgQ_AUoAQ&biw=1920&bih=1129

annotate said,
I've seen a few BSOD but have yet to see this one. Mine is always a page fault or something similar. During a BSOD you're not able to do any of those things. Is this a joke?
I don't think this was a BSOD, just what you get when you press ALT+CTRL+DEL (for when an app isn't responding). So more like the task manager (but only for your current app). It's just the screen is blue here.

<useless_trivia>
Windows 3.1 did not have preemptive multitasking, it used a different approach, called "co-operative multitasking." In this scheme, each application was expected to be a good citizen and idle itself when it was waiting for user input, in a long running loop, etc. This would allow the OS to switch priority to another application that is trying to get something done in the background. This also would allow you to bring another application to the foreground. This was commonly done via DoEvents() or Sleep() calls, depending on your programming language.

This screen would appear the first time CTRL+ALT+DEL was pressed, or when the Windows 3.1 kernel detected that an application was not releasing control back to the OS in an acceptable amount of time. Microsoft finally introduced preemptive multitasking with 32-bit Windows applications.

The blue screen was really not a SCREEN OF DEATH, it was actually just a SYSTEM MESSAGE SCREEN. When Windows needed to tell you something really important you'd see the message in a blue screen like this. Remember "sharing violation" errors? :)
</useless_trivia>

Shadrack said,
You must have skipped the 95, 98, 98SE, NT, ME, and 2000 versions of Windows then.

No, I haven't.. why would you assume that? The screen above is from 3.1.

I've had every version that Windows ever made, starting with beta, and have never seen it, that I recall (I'm not infallible). Never have any control over the machine when I get a BSOD. It either restarts or I manually do it.

This isn't the normal BSOD that most people are familiar with - article is a little misleading. This is indeed from Win 3.1 and it's when a specific app crashes, not the whole OS. I have seen that screen several times back in the day.

Sorry, misunderstood. I thought it was the generalized system BSOD... Apps causing this more-or-less went away with '95.

Shadrack said,
You must have skipped the 95, 98, 98SE, NT, ME, and 2000 versions of Windows then.

Lets not forget 95 had 3 distinct releases, also known as 95A, 95B, 95C

annotate said,
I've had every version that Windows ever made, starting with beta, and have never seen it, that I recall (I'm not infallible). Never have any control over the machine when I get a BSOD. It either restarts or I manually do it.

You're so cool.

I remember getting this when Encarta 95 used to give my 386 the ######.

soup4you2 said,
Lets not forget 95 had 3 distinct releases, also known as 95A, 95B, 95C

(A) was the was the best. You could move the start button to the middle of the taskbar.

Shadrack said,
More like: "developers...developers...developers..."

that sounds that he's in disdain; should be more like "developers! developers! developers!"