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    Classic Microsoft to think that the fix for “G is preventing you from shutting down” is to give the correct full name, “GDI+ Window (something.exe) is preventing you from shutting down”. Yeah, that’s so much more user-friendly and actionable.

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      What are they supposed to do?

      Anyway… do we both agree that something.exe is the part of the system with the bug? Or are you questioning the premise and saying that the OS shouldn’t allow arbitrary applications to prevent Windows from shutting down?

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        If you’re going to display a message to the user, and especially if you’re asking a question, you need to make sure the message makes sense to a user. Saying gibberish like “GDI+ Window” is worse than saying nothing. And the “GDI+ Window” isn’t some unknown thing an application made up – it’s part of Windows itself – so there’s no excuse for the random jargon.

        The way this happens is that someone implemented the “ask the user if it’s OK to kill an application” feature in isolation and had no authority or ability to do any better than this, both because the organization does not prioritize fixing this basic level of user model and interaction, and because the system is so complex and fragile that even if it did there wouldn’t be much hope of doing much better.

        That said, in this specific case, it’s sad they don’t at least recognize this is a low-level implementation detail window, and special-case it to reach into the app resources to find a human-readable name, and just ask if you want to kill “Contoso Whatever Application” instead of saying this.

        So, as I say, classic Microsoft. (I worked there, mostly in Windows user experience, for 11 years.)

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          I completely agree with you. Reaching into the application for a useful name would have been better. Frankly, it doesn’t make much sense to show the name of an invisible window to the user in any case; it’s invisible for a reason. Hopefully, the application has a useful name where it is going to look.

          The fact that it has something.exe is definitely an improvement on what it was doing before (“G” is so useless even Microsoft’s engineers had no idea what it meant), and there are probably other places in the system where the name of an invisible window shows up, which would probably be useful. So the actual “GDI+” bug was probably still worth fixing.

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            The special casing probably makes sense.

            I disagree that showing nothing is better than showing a name that is cryptic to most. A specific name can be searched for, Windows hanging for no apparent reason whatsoever can have many causes.

            The name is also easier to remember and then pattern associate with a problem by the human brain than an error number.

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              “Get a searchable name for the problem” is such a low bar. The bar should be set at not having to search. macOS has something roughly like this:

              “Contoso app is preventing system from shutting down. [ Force quit the app ] [ Cancel shutdown ]”

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        I really wish messages like this had QR codes so I could look up the problem on my phone since I can’t look it up on my computer.

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          The new Windows bluescreen has a QR code that brings you to a page where you can type in the error code lmao

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            That’s – not how QR codes are supposed to work?

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          I bet everyone at M$ have two displays, one with Windows one with Linux. The latter one prescribed by a psychlogist to calm down the nerves.

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            That possibility got shut down after they were humiliated for doing something like that when pushing Windows NT on everyone else. The first is a story IBM pushed that Microsoft ran their whole business on one or more AS/400’s that took 20 to 1500 Windows servers to replace reliably. Free links are gone due to Google’s new priorities. The second was that their newly-acquired Hotmail was running the more reliable FreeBSD and Apache. They converted that to Windows.

            So, no, the employees will continue to use Windows despite psychologists’ prescriptions. Microsoft won’t be humiliated again. Wait, did someone say Windows Mobile and Chrome? Hehe.

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              I know the father of the founder of Hotmail (his son hired him :) ) from a previous job, and got a tour of their Exodus colocation space shortly after they were acquired by Microsoft. Their infrastructure was made by repeating a cookie-cutter “capital unit” of one big Sun Enterprise 10000 (?) server for file storage and a bunch of white-box PCs made by a local company and running FreeBSD for the front end. I think the PCs were just sitting on Metro shelving or some such. They would do scripted parallel deployments (using rsync and ssh, IIRC) to the front ends for app updates. All remarkably simple and straightforward.

              Of course we all knew Microsoft would make them convert to Windows and what an unimaginable pain that would be. I don’t think Windows even had a way to configure the web server without using the GUI at the time, much less reconfigure a thousand web servers simultaneously with a script! But I trust the Windows NT folks learned a lot about the reality of internet application servers from the experience, which was the idea.