Alternate Reality

Microsoft: Black Screen of Death Part of ‘Equal Opportunity Campaign’

The Windows 7 black screen of death is no accident, Microsoft says; it’s part of the company’s new plan to demonstrate its “equal opportunity attitude.”

By (@JRRaphael)

December 1, 2009

The story you're about to read is not (entirely) true. It is, however, more accurate than most things on network television.

Microsoft said on Tuesday the “black screen of death” plaguing some Windows 7 users was the result of an equal opportunity campaign initiated within the company.
Windows 7 Black Screen of Death
The black screen, a company spokesperson tells eSarcasm, was intended to “show minorities that, despite a previous setback, Microsoft is not a racist organization.” The effort apparently began after the company’s photo-editing flap this past summer, when reporters discovered Microsoft had altered one of its ads to make a black man appear white.

“Look, we realize we messed up there,” explains Lily White, a Microsoft media relations representative. “We had hoped implementing the BLSOD would show our respect for all colors of the spectrum — not just the limited hues we’ve favored in the past.”

The “black screen of death” has been appearing on systems of users who installed a November security update to the Windows 7 operating system. Analysts believe the update modified registry entries, preventing some software from opening and resulting in the screen’s presence.

“Did we intend for the BLSOD to be unveiled like this? No,” White admits. “But we’re happy people now know it’s a part of the Windows 7 experience that they helped make.”

Despite Microsoft’s efforts, equal opportunity rights organizations do not appear impressed. A spokesman for the NAACP tells eSarcasm the “screen of death” connotation does little to further the African-American image.

Meanwhile, the NAABS (National Association for the Advancement of Blue Screens) is lashing out against the change, calling it an “arbitrary decision” based “purely on color, not qualifications.”

“The blue screen has retained its place in Microsoft’s operating system for years,” NAABS Chairman Joe Bellou said in a statement. “To be ousted from our position in order to make room for a lesser qualified candidate, selected solely because of the color of its screen, is outrageous.”

Microsoft insists its move was not ill-intended and that it wanted only to smooth over any damage incurred by its earlier photo-changing incident.
Black Screen of Death
In related news, “Blue Screen Can’t Keep Us Down (featuring T-Pain)” — the debut single by error-screen-turned-rapper Black Screen of Death — debuted at #3 on the Billboard hip hop charts today.

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