Microsoft's Ballmer says 1 percent of software bugs cause 50 percent of errors

Microsoft's Ballmer says 1 percent of software bugs cause 50 percent of errors

Error reports sent back to Microsoft Corp. by Windows, Office and other products show that 20 percent of the software's bugs cause 80 percent of its errors. Just 1 percent of the bugs causes half of all errors, company president Steve Ballmer said in a security e-letter widely distributed yesterday.

'Customers may wonder what we do with their reports,' Ballmer said. Their privacy is protected, he said, because the reports are gathered onto a cluster of dedicated servers and used only for bug fixes. The reports'generated by the so-called minidump function in many of Microsoft's products'have pointed out errors not only in Microsoft products but also in applications from other software and hardware vendors, Ballmer said. About 450 companies have accessed the database of error reports for drivers, utilities and applications, he said.

'There are risks in offering this option to have software phone home like E.T.,' said Ballmer. The error reporting pays off, he said, in helping Microsoft understand what consumers want.

More information about the error reports appears at www.microsoft.com/mscorp/execmail/2002/10-02customers2.asp.

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