MICROSOFT IS MAKING changes to its error messages to make them a little less useless.
After introducing a new, friendlier design for the setup equivalent of the Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) in Windows 7, which was still gibberish, but gibberish with an emoji, the company is developing a system, starting with Windows Setup that actually tells you what the problem is, instead of spouting error codes and Knowledge Base (KB) articles at you.
German Windows site WinFuture first spotted the changes that will roll out in April(ish)'s 19H1 update to Windows 10. It'll probably have a better name than that, but it hasn't been officially christened yet. We vote for "Bernard".
The advice given for compatibility problems during setup has been completely overhauled so instead of the "yes, what of it", you get an explanation of what's wrong, why it's wrong and what you need to do to fix it. Hoorah!
This is going to be a gamechanger, not just for those who struggle with techie stuff, but also those who don't, who constantly get asked to come and fix it because "you know about computers".
One of the coolest parts is that it now links you straight through to the Knowledge Base pages, so you don't need a second device to find out what's wrong with the first device.
How this works, we're not sure, because unless the entire Knowledge Base is stored within the installation files (ugh) then you'll need to be online to install Windows, which seems a bit about face to us.
If a particular app (anti-virus, it's usually anti-virus) is preventing the installation, now it'll actually let you uninstall the app instead of just telling you that's what you should do.
Full details of how all this will pan out are not with us yet, but it's comforting to know that after 30 years, Microsoft has finally worked out that it's spectacularly unhelpful when it comes to this sort of thing.
Maybe we'll see this common sense applied to the full BSOD experience. Maybe there's hope for the Zune yet. μ
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