It’s hard being Microsoft. Windows has had the stigma of software crashes associated with it for over nearly two decades now, and its blue screen of death has become iconic. The company has even tried to lighten up that blue screen for its new Windows 8 operating system, but a crash is a crash, and its never fun.
Since Microsoft’s new Surface tablets will run on Windows 8, I suppose customers can expect to see the new frowny-face blue screen of death at some point. However, the screen was curiously lacking on Monday when a Surface tablet decided to become obstinately frozen during the middle of Microsoft’s big Surface announcement.
Watch the video below to see Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows division at Microsoft, show off Internet Explorer on a Surface tablet, only to have it lock up. Even the home button on the device fails to fix the problem. Sinofsky tries his best to work through the setback but is obviously flustered, and eventually has to swap the tablet for a back-up:
Ouch. I can almost hear Steve Jobs laughing from beyond the veil of death. Though Apple’s computers aren’t quite as stable as they once were, the company certainly hasn’t had a product crash mid-debut. That sort of luck is reserved only for Microsoft. It’s too bad, because Microsoft was probably working on that presentation for weeks, and now the news of the flub will partially overshadow what appears to be a well-designed device. However, if Microsoft’s software can’t hold up, there is no point in dropping hundreds of dollars for a pretty tablet.