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Bill Gates: 5% Of Windows Machines Crash More Than Twice A Day

Bill Gates: 5% Of Windows Machines Crash More Than Twice A Day

by , 10:30 AM EDT, July 25th, 2003

The New York Times has published an interesting write up of Microsoft's annual financial analyst meeting. We were considering a general-interest reference article to the Times' coverage until we noted one specifically interesting tidbit concerning Microsoft's own estimation of Windows' robustness. According to the article, Mr. Gates says that 5% of all Windows installations crash more than twice a day. From the NY Times:

Mr. Gates acknowledged today that the company's error reporting service indicated that 5 percent of all Windows-based computers now crash more than twice each day.

Unfortunately, there is no information in the article about how many Windows-based machines crash one or two times per day.

Other interesting notes in the Times' article:

  • Microsoft will spend US$6.9 billion on R&D this year. By way of contrast, Apple will gross close to US$6 billion, and spend somewhere in the neighborhood of US$500 million of that in R&D.
  • Microsoft claims some 600 million customers. Apple has claimed some 25 million Mac users for the past several years.
  • Despite recent rumors, the company will not be spending any of its US$49 billion in cash holdings on a dividend (nor in acquisitions).
  • Microsoft is intent on pursuing the "growing" security market. [Editor's Note: The article suggests that Bill Gates sees security as a growth industry, while seemingly ignoring that it is Windows security issues that have largely made that market what it is in the first place.]
  • The company may charge for some Internet-delivered updates to Windows and/or Office in the future. Currently, these are free updates.
  • Microsoft wants to compete with Yahoo! and Google.

There is a lot more information and detail in the full article from the New York Times. We recommend it as an interesting read.

The Mac Observer Spin:

Microsoft spends almost a billion dollars a year more than Apple grosses on its R&D, and Windows XP is the best it can do? Stunning, to say the least. Then again, this is the same company that had one thousand employees working on developing Internet Explorer 3.0 for Windows. What did all those people do every day?

In any event, we would love to see the details from the company's "error reporting service." 5% of Windows based PCs crashing more than two times per day is just mind-boggling. Based (very loosely) on the company's own numbers, that's some 30 million lemmings dealing with three or more crashes on their beige boxes every single day. That's 5 million more people than all the Mac users in the world.

It's just amazing how little Big Redmond accomplishes with all that money. The company has more resources than any other organization in the world (save for a few countries) at its disposal, and this is the best it can do. It's just amazing.

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