Microsoft will add QR codes to Windows 10 crashes

Microsoft will add QR codes to Windows crashes

What’s next, sending a fax with the error report?


Windows 10 is an ultra-modern piece of software, an operating system written for the cloud generation, right? Well, not so fast. A new form of error reporting uses a mobile technology that’s been declared dead.

Windows has never been particularly helpful in saying why your computer crashed. Even the Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) in Windows 10 doesn’t tell you much. And the large sad face emoticon doesn’t exactly help, does it?

It’s almost comical that they tell you the error code, like “KERNEL_DATA_INPAGE_ERROR” or “HAL_INITIALIZATION_FAILED” and then tell you to look it up after you reboot. And good luck finding any useful information.

So, what is Microsoft’s solution? A QR code. Yes, a QR code, that dead technology from mobile phones. It was supposed to be a way to rapidly look up info on items in retail outlets or get info from other sources, but it never got any traction. For some time now, QR codes have long been considered dead in the water.

The reasons for QR’s failure are many: Apple and Android phone makers never put a QR reader on their phones, the readers were often terribly inaccurate and required multiple snapshots, you can’t do a lookup without either Wi-Fi or LTE, retailers didn’t support it and often people just didn’t care to use it.

But the Spanish language Microsoft site reports the company is experimenting with QR codes in BSOD screens, complete with screenshots. In addition, some Reddit users have noticed it as well in the most recent build of Windows, meaning the Insider version for testing.

qr code windows blue screen of death Reddit

Microsoft is experimenting with adding QR codes to Windows 10 BSOD screens

The one thing no one seems to have done is actually taken a shot of the QR code with their phone and had a look at what kind of information the QR codes offer. They probably don’t have a QR reader installed, is my guess. I didn’t either, but after installing a reader on my iPhone, it rather easily identified the code and took me to this page, which told me—nothing I didn’t already know.

“A blue screen error (also called a stop error) can occur if a problem causes your PC to shut down or restart unexpectedly. When you experience this type of error, you won’t be able to see things like the Start menu or the taskbar on the screen when your PC is turned on. Instead you might see a blue screen with a message that your PC ran into a problem and needs to restart.”

But in fairness, if the QR reader is in a new beta build of Windows, Microsoft has a little time to make that page more useful.

I have to admit this is a really odd one. Why Microsoft went with a technology that has been pretty much abandoned is a real head-scratcher.

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