If you’ve ever run into a Windows 10 blue screen of death, you’re probably now intimately familiar with the world’s most confusing BSOD message ever. Initially this was a very fun little rollercoaster trying to figure out what really went wrong (and luckily BSOD messages are still collected in the old way), but it’s not always helpful. Microsoft’s changes later on helped by showing an error message which consisted of the stop code and a URL where you could look these up. With the upcoming Windows 10 Redstone update, it looks like they’re making more changes to the BSOD screen by including QR codes!
The QR codes appeared in the latest insider preview build of Windows 10, version 14316, which you can get anytime if you head into the Update and Security’s advanced options menu from the modern Settings menu. The QR codes are generated for each stop code that exists, so the machine isn’t generating them on the fly. The URL to look them up has also been shortened to www.windows.com/stopcode, which is definitely easier to type in on whatever mobile device you might have on you at the time.
It’s not as informative as the BSOD screen in Windows 7 and earlier OSes, which helped narrow down the search for what thing was causing the problem, but it is more useful. More people seem to be comfortable with a QR code than a seemingly cryptic and ominous message string. Some people have pointed out that viruses that create a fake BSOD screen might start including their own QR codes in order to carry out a phishing attack, but I reckon they could have done that at any time even before this move.
Microsoft’s Redstone update to Windows 10 should be available sometime in Q3 2016, and likely before September.