blue screen of Windows

The classic blue screen of Windows, a creation of… Steve Ballmer

The classic blue screen of Windows

It was the difficult (for the computer industry) 1990s when we all started to know what Microsoft was capable of. Their Windows 95 and Windows 95 universalized the blue screen, a dreaded image that implied that something had gone wrong with your computer, and that besides having to restart it you would have surely lost all the information.

This blue screen, called in English environments as Blue Screen of Death, has been quite remodeled in the following years although the main color has not disappeared, having changed the text. Precisely those texts with multiple technical information (unusable for most) and that urged you to press Ctrl+Alt+Del were devised by Steve Ballmer.

According to a post on one of the official MSDN blogs, Microsoft’s developer community, the recent ex-CEO at Microsoft didn’t like the text the development team had written in case of a system error, and agreed to define it on his own. The developers were fine with it (I wonder if because it really was a good job, or if it was because Ballmer was the head of Microsoft’s Systems Division at the time) and made only a handful of very minor changes before implementing it in the final version of Windows 95.

Ballmer and his decades in the company have gone a long way, and he is certainly one of the great players in the world of computer and technology history. The BSoD is also one of the most representative icons of computing in the 90s, which has burdened Microsoft for many years. What better than to end this article with what is possibly his great starring appearance:

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