A Web site that tracks bugs in PC software has slammed the industry, and especially Microsoft, for what it describes as "abysmal" performance in 1998 in tracking and fixing software bugs.
BugNet, which describes itself as a clearing house for bug information and fixes, claims that the industry is "in the midst of a PC quality/support crisis". As a result, the site has declined to offer its annual award for identifying and fixing bugs, the first time this has happened since 1994.
Bruce Brown, BugNet editor and publisher, said in a statement: "This is an industry that has got in the habit of shaving the value it provides its customers, and then humiliating them when they complain."
Microsoft and its Windows operating system come under particularly heavy fire in the statement, which was posted on BugNet in place of the award announcement. Brown claims that "BugNet's data indicates that bug fix rates have declined with every new mass market version of Windows."
It is not surprising that Microsoft should be targeted by BugNet, as the Web site also suffered from problems with its online discussion group running on FrontPage 98 and was subjected to a fruitless exchange with Microsoft technical support. In the end, BugNet had to remove its discussion area, even though it had become one of the most heavily trafficked FrontPage discussion groups.
BugNet also targets FrontPage 98 as the carrier of "maybe the most potentially destructive bug that BugNet has encountered in the last half decade".
The bug, although rare, is easy to replicate, and could potentially delete a user's entire hard drive including the Windows folder. Microsoft's reaction was to claim that the bug is a "feature".
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