Yes, Steve Ballmer wrote the text for the old Blue Screen of Death

Steve Ballmer
Steve Ballmer (Image credit: Windows Central)

A long time Microsoft employee and developer, Raymond Chen, has named the company's former CEO Steve Ballmer as the man responsible for writing the text that is seen in the tragically familiar "Blue Screen of Death" that was seen in old school versions of Windows.

In a post on his personal blog this week, Chen wrote that over 20 years ago, way back in the days of Windows 3.1, Ballmer was head of Microsoft's Systems Division,and one day he made a visit to the Windows team. Chen wrote:

"When they showed him the Ctrl+Alt+Del feature, he nodded thoughtfully and added, 'This is nice, but I don't like the text of the message. It doesn't sound right to me.' 'Okay, Steve. If you think you can do a better job, then go for it.' Unlike some other executive, Steve took up the challenge, and a few days later, he emailed what he thought the Ctrl+Alt+Del screen should say. The text he came up with was actually quite good, and it went into the product pretty much word for word.

blue screen of death

Since then the screen has evolved until you get a blue frown image if something bad happens in Windows 8. However, it's always cool to learn that one of the top business executives at Microsoft could come up with something that would be incorporated in such a direct way inside of Windows. What do you think of this tidbit of nostalgia?

Source The New Old Thing via The Verge

John Callaham