[Linux-aus] Fwd: Re: [osv-list] Windows: 30 billion crashes a year ?

Chris Samuel chris at csamuel.org
Wed Sep 17 18:07:01 UTC 2003


Here's Steve's maths from the OSV list.

- ----------  Forwarded Message  ----------

Subject: Re: [osv-list] Windows: 30 billion crashes a year ?
Date: Tue, 16 Sep 2003 14:39:35 +1000
From: "Steven D'Aprano" <steve at cyber.com.au>
To: osv-list at lists.osv.org.au

On Tue, Sep 16, 2003 at 01:51:17PM +1000, Jacinta Richardson wrote:
> On Mon, 15 Sep 2003, Chris Samuel wrote:
> > Found via Cryptogram:
> >
> > http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,4149,1210067,00.asp
> The maths from that article are so wrong in so many ways.

Yes, they are shockingly bad.

But the important thing from the article, is that Bill Gates claims that 5
percent of Windows machines crash, on average, twice daily. Let's be
extremely concervative here, and assume that Gates knows what he is
talking about, and that the figure is accurate, and that it is a total of
all Windows, not just XP. (If its just 5% of XP machines, then my figures
will understate the true effect.)

The most likely distribution for crashes is close to a Poisson
distribution. A few seconds with a spread sheet tells us that the mean of
the distribution is 0.38, and therefore (if Gates' numbers are correct) we
can predict that 31% of Windows PCs crash at least once per day. Given
some 700 million Windows PCs in the world, that gives us a total of 266
million crashes per day, or 97 billion per year.

That's not very many, if you think about it: it is equivalent to a little
less than one crash per three days per PC. I think most Windows users
would be happy to have that few crashes. I know I would be.

That's more than 3 times what John Dvorak estimates, but then his maths
wasn't very good. My numbers are only as good as Bill Gates' 5% figure.

Assuming as little as 1 minute of lost productivity worth $10 per hour per
crash, that still adds up to over 15 billion dollars per year. If
only we could somehow get a refund for that, MS would be broke in a
few years. Aren't meaningless statistics wonderful? :-)

- --
Steven D'Aprano
Operations Manager
Cybersource Pty Ltd, ABN 13 053 904 082
Level 4, 10-16 Queen St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Tel: +61 3 9621 2377   Fax: +61 3 9621 2477
Web: http://www.cyber.com.au
osv-list mailing list
osv-list at lists.osv.org.au

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- -- 
 Chris Samuel  :  http://csamuel.org/  :  Melbourne, VIC

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