Microsoft gets a 'Blue Screen of Death' medal in Beijing

Microsoft got its brand on the Olympics. Just not the one it would have preferred.


You win some, you lose some. Microsoft is getting its brand on the Beijing Olympics in more ways than one, in one case to very poor effect.

Reports from China suggest that Microsoft's Silverlight is delivering exceptional streaming video for NBC's Olympic coverage.

Unfortunately, Microsoft also had the shame of the Blue Screen of Death afflict the opening ceremonies, with the BSoD up on the big screen for more than two hours during the ceremony. Li Ning, who lit the main Olympic torch, actually walked in front of the BSoD, immortalizing the image of Microsoft XP failing on the Beijing Olympics.

Yes, XP. The Olympics decided to use XP instead of Vista because it's more stable. Yes, really. :-)

The most ironic thing in this is that I'm sure Microsoft lobbied hard to give the Beijing Olympic Committee free use of Windows, just as it did with SharePoint for the World Economic Forum. (Bill Gates can be very persuasive.) Some "deals" really are too good to be true.

Click here for more stories on tech and the Beijing Olympics.

Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


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