Microsoft makeover gives Longhorn a red face

Seeing red? Prepare to feel blue...

Seeing red? Prepare to feel blue...

Microsoft has come up with a unique solution to the legendary 'blue screen of death' in the next version of its Windows operating system. With the release of Longhorn, the Redmond behemoth has added a red screen to face users when their system crashes.

According to Microsoft techie and blogger Michael Kaplan, who has been experimenting with a Longhorn beta, as well as being confronted with the blue screen of death, now users will also see red.

The red screen of death appears to be the bigger, badder cousin to the traditional blue screen and is designed to let users know that a more serious error has occurred, Kaplan said.

It's unlikely that the problem will affect many users of the next generation operating system. Kaplin, Microsoft's technical lead for globalisation infrastructure, fonts and tools, said that he had only achieved the red screen of death by making a "small set-up change" and altering the registry.

This "somewhat destructive act", said Kaplin, provoked a red screen of death after he rebooted Longhorn's virtual image, where previous versions of Windows returned a black screen with a different error message following the same treatment.

"I am not sure I would class the change as an improvement," Kaplin said.