A problem has occurred, would you like to send this data to Microsoft?

I'm watching the current Tech-Ed session on the new additions to the debugger to help simplify understanding what's going on when debugging complicated applications/structures.

Everything was going great, and then BOOM VS fell flat on it's face. Not a very uncommon event at Tech-Ed since we are using bleeding edge alpha bits to demo the latest stuff we are doing. Scott recovered great, with a lot of humor, however he dismissed the dialog saying "would you like to send this report to MS". Habib, noticed this and mentioned "We're not connected to the network right now, however, if this happens to you please send us this information."

I can't express how right he is. No matter how much time and effort we spend in testing and QA on our products, bugs still happen and things will not always behave properly. We take all of these problems very seriously and consider things like crashes, hangs, and data corruption/loss to be critical problems that must be addressed ASAP. However, if the crash only happens on your machine then we might never know about it.

The system that detects crashes and uploads it to MS is called Watson and you can read about it here. These crashes do get to us devs and we do analyse them and fix the problems. (It's really sucky to do since it's usually working on extremely optimized code, and i hate X86 assembly, but it usually ends up revealing some very hard to find bug that only occurs under a very specific set of circumstances).

I've talked to many people who tell me they don't send the information because they don't think it does any good or gets looked at by anybody. I just want to let you know that that most definitly is not the case. If there are any reasons you don't use the crash reporting system, please let us know why!


Update: John pointed me to this page: https://winqual.microsoft.com/default.aspx where ISVs can sign up and get that crash report data.  Interesting stuff.  Thanks John