Remember the blue screen of death, a Windows PC's way of telling you it had suffered an error so catastrophic it couldn't carry on anymore? In recent years sightings of the BSOD have become less common in Windows operating systems, as Microsoft has stamped out some of the rogue code commonly responsible.
At a recent event in Cambridge Microsoft talked about how it had reduced misbehaving code in its operating system, using automated tools and a huge amount of crash reports from Windows XP users.
The main cause of crashes in Windows XP was device drivers, which were responsible for some 85 percent of hiccups in the OS. Drivers are the code that allow an operating system to control a hardware device, such as a video card, handling commands between the device and the core of an operating system, the kernel.