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LostInParadise's avatar

What do you think Microsoft does with all those error reports that they ask you to send?

Asked by LostInParadise (18334 points ) January 29th, 2009

Do you think that when Microsoft asks whether the error should be sent to them and you say yes, that anything actually happens? Assuming that the report actually gets sent, what do you think they do with it? Do you think that if they get a large number of reports with the same error type, that the error is flagged to be looked at by someone? Pardon my skepticism but I think that the chances of an error report eventually making a difference are pretty small.

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15 Answers

dynamicduo's avatar

You’re right, the chances of an error reporting making a difference is small. But Microsoft can use your one small bit of info and combine it with millions of other people’s small bits of info and determine if a certain problem is occurring faster, slower, etc.

I imagine all the error reports get grouped together and a report is automatically produced that shows the frequency of the errors as well as whatever other information they want to display.

They most likely do not care about your error report as it occurs. But by sending the information in, it will be stored, and can be helpful if Microsoft needs to find out how many reported users had Problem X, followed by Problem Y or Z, etc.

Harp's avatar

I suspect that they’re the basis for a long-running drinking game in the Microsoft employee lounge.

“ERROR REPORT!!! glug, glug, glug…”

jbfletcherfan's avatar

I often wondered the same thing. In fact, I’ve quit sending them.

dalepetrie's avatar

I think they get printed and go in a closet somewhere with all the AOL disks.

Jamspoon's avatar

Do you remember what the last scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark looked like?

cookieman's avatar

I suspect they get secretly CCd to the folks at Apple where they read them and just laugh, and laugh, and laugh, and…

@Jamspoon Great mental image. GA!

dynamicduo's avatar

You know, if every MS employee took a drink for every error report they received, that MIGHT explain the abomination that is Vista. Maybe.

Bluefreedom's avatar

I know this one. All those error reports go here.

As far as anyone acting on these reports, that’s a great question. Probably no one?

Harp's avatar

smiling technician at your front door: “Mr. ____? We received your error report, and I’m just stopping by to see if everything’s been resolved to your satisfaction.”

Til then, I’m keeping my mac.

Emdean1's avatar

They use them for new updates. They need to see whats broken before they can fix it. Or at least thats what they say.

ryanfaerman's avatar

They get put in the circular file.

imnotatease87's avatar

i dont think they do anything with it because i still get those same damn errors

Mr_M's avatar

The people at the India-based technical support group get them and throw them away.

tallin32's avatar

Actually they get trended (how many times has this error occurred in the last 30 days? Last 90 days?) and acted upon. If thousands of people are experiencing the same error, it rules out something that may be peculiar to one or two people’s systems.

CWOTUS's avatar

They add up in a data warehouse that IS mined with “data-mining” software.

The error report for software undoubtedly includes some kind of indication of what the error actually is (irrespective of whatever text you may add to say “it’s this, that and the other thing”), and the accumulation of reports indicate where users have problems.

As a human example, I didn’t really start to “learn” Excel until I started trying to help other people with it. They had ideas of things that they wanted to do, and which I hadn’t ever considered before. Combining their “how do I do this?” with my own nascent talents has enabled me to do things that neither of us had considered, and so that goes.

For another example, when I worked for an RTA (ready-to-assemble) furniture company in the early 90s (think Sauder and IKEA, in fact, we made some IKEA furniture for them under contract), I often took service calls from frustrated customers and made my own database of what they had trouble with, what was short-shipped or damaged in the box, and what instructions were not clear. I guarantee that we made changes to the product, to the packaging, to the production and to the instructions, just based on my own home-made database.

The VP of Production didn’t like the mistakes we found and pointed out to him, so during an intramural power play after his promotion he fired my boss, the Director of Quality, and the next day he had me fired. And the company was out of business a year or two later. I’m not saying they went under because they decided they didn’t need to listen to me any more; I’m just sayin’ ...

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