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Blue Screen of Death gets a new look in Windows 8

The BSOD need no longer be blue, according to one report

By Paul McNamara on Wed, 09/14/11 - 9:38am.

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While there had been hints of a new look earlier, the Windows 8 code delivered to developers at Microsoft's Build conference in Anaheim yesterday includes a Blue Screen of Death the likes of which users have not seen before.

(What online news looked like on 9/11)

After expressing emoticon-style sadness, the new screen reads:

Your PC ran into a problem that it couldn't handle, and now it needs to restart.

You can search for the error online: HAL_INITIALIZATION_FAILED

One could argue that it is the Microsoft operating system that failed, not your PC, but let's not quibble.

The change is beginning to attract more attention. Pocket-lint reports:

Yep, even the dreaded BSOD has been reimagined, making it much more friendly and less scary. Sure, your computer is probably knackered if you're presented with it, but look at that emoticon - Windows 8 has a personality, it's sad for us in our time of need.

And this blogger notes that the color blue no longer has exclusive domain over the notification of doom:

You no longer have to stare at a depressing blue screen of death. Win8′s new xSODs come in a variety of attractive colors and patterns, including mauve, chartreuse, and gingham.

That report comes from a humor site called eSarcasm, so be forewarned before getting your heart set on the Chartreuse Screen of Death.

And if it seems as though the Blue Screen of Death has been a part of our lives forever, that's because it has essentially been a part of our lives forever. Wikipedia has a page devoted to the BSOD, of course, and while the Wikipedia police suggest it is need of better documentation, the history entry gives us a clue as to the BSOD's origins:

The term Blue Screen of Death originated during development of the IBM OS/2 operating system at Lattice Inc, the makers of early Windows and OS/2 compilers.[citation needed] Developers encountered the error screen when bugs in the operating system's software (typically null pointers) slipped through the net during beta testing. In feedback to IBM, a company known informally as 'Big Blue', the developers humorously described the Stop screen as the 'Blue Screen of Death' in consequence of its color, of the association of that color with IBM, and of the finality of the error (which caused the computer to hang without any possibility of recovery, requiring a manual restart).[citation needed]

Gingham? Who would want a Gingham Screen of Death?

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