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Encyclopedia > Windows Error Reporting

Windows Error Reporting is a technology introduced by Microsoft with Windows XP and Windows 2003. Based on technology previously known as Dr. Watson it provides post-mortem debug information (a memory dump) to the developer of an application that crashed or hung on a user's desktop. While Dr.Watson left the memory dump on the user's local machine, Windows Error Reporting offers to send the memory dump to Microsoft using the internet. No data is sent without the user's consent. When a dump (or other error signature information) reaches the Microsoft server it is analyzed and a solution is sent back to the user when one is available. Solutions are served using Windows Error Reporting Responses. Windows Error Reporting has been improved significantly in Windows Vista with features such as Problem Reports and Solutions (a control panel allowing users to check the status of their crashes) and personalized solution views. Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Microsoft Corporation, (NASDAQ: MSFT, HKSE: 4338) is a multinational computer technology corporation with global annual revenue of US$44. ... Windows XP is a line of operating systems developed by Microsoft for use on general-purpose computer systems, including home and business desktops, notebook computers, and media centers. ... Windows Server 2003 Desktop The successor to Windows 2000 Server, Microsofts Windows Server 2003 (codename Whistler Server, also known as Windows NT 5. ... Windows Vista is the name of the latest release of Microsoft Windows, a line of proprietary graphical operating systems used on personal computers, including home and business desktops, notebook computers, and media centers. ...


Software and hardware manufacturers may access their error reports using Microsoft's WinQual program . In order to ensure that error reporting data only goes to the engineers responsible for the product, Microsoft requires that interested vendors obtain a VeriSign Class 3 Digital ID. Software and hardware manufacturers can also close the loop with their customers by linking error signatures to Windows Error Reporting Responses, this allows distributing solutions as well as collecting extra information from customers (such as reproducing the steps they took before the crash) and providing them with support links.


If Windows Error Reporting itself crashes, then an error reports the original crashed process cannot be sent.


Microsoft has reported that data collected from Windows Error Reporting has made a huge difference in the way software is developed internally. In 2002, Steve Ballmer noted that error reports enabled the Windows team to fix 29% of all Windows XP errors with Windows XP SP1. Over half of all Office XP errors were fixed with Office XP SP2. Success is based in part on the 80/20 rule. Error reporting data reveals that there is a small set of bugs that is responsible for the vast majority of the problems users see. Fixing 20% of code defects can eliminate 80% or more of the problems users encounter. A recent article in the New York Times confirmed that Error Reporting data has been instrumental in fixing problems seen in the beta releases of Microsoft Windows Vista and Microsoft Office 2007.



Sources: [1] [2] [3]


 
 

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